40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, PoC,

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40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, PoC,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-09-07 04:49pm

So what is that madman doing again, you might ask? Well I've decided on a whim to decide to start clearing out some of my older analysis and some of the other books. Doing even two a month, I suspect, I could never catch up, and the FFG stuff (when I get to it) nevermind 5th edition is going to take a ton of time. And, I still want to go back and re do some of my old stuff (Rennie's BFG stuff, STorm of Iron, the Lsat Chancers, the Ghost and Cain novels, etc.) And sooner or later I'll have to hit on the Horus Heresy series. So I have to "clear space" so to speak.

So for the immediate future I'm going to go through and toss out here and there collections of what me might call the "second tier" stuff - out of print material, stuff that just isn't as interesting to people as the "main" stuff. You may ask why I even bother with these books, but you might as well ask why I bothered with 2nd-4th edition fluff, or with any of the relatively obscure information. The reason I did is because it is obscure. I'm not being nearly as completist as I probably need to be - I'm ignoring all the White Dwarfs, the comics, and I've ignored Inferno! magainze (there's lots of useful tidbits in there, too) but you need as complete a picture as you can get from the available material, in order to make any decent conclusions. Especially when you deal with a primarily text-based analysis (because of semantics.) And you never know some obscure source may have the important information you're looking for. Besides which, I hate relying only on Ciaphas Cain or Gaunt's Ghosts as my sole source for evidence. It looks too selective.

Anyhow, this "phase" of information release will coincide with my normal releases: I'm going to continue with Imperial Armour, with Dawn of War, and with Eisenhorn. I think however I am going to lump the books together (EG the first two IA books together. The second two, Vraks will be all of one type, etc.) I haven't decided how to handle IA8 yet, honestly but it will probably go 8-10 simply because IA8 was where the new "style" of books started.

Novel wise, I decided to go "omnibus" and lump all the novels together into a single source: Eisenhorn will be all one thread, as will Goto's DoW novels. I may also lump a few extra tidbits in here or there (Short stories - I have one on Cyrene to cove rand I may throw the DoW 2 novel in with Gotos when I get around to covering it.,)

Other material I have to cover still is Apocalypse and its iterations, The various "picture books" of various battles (13th Black Crusade, Sabbat World's crusade, and Tactica Imperialis. I haven't decided whether to do the third Armageddon war, most of it looks recycled anyhow. And I'm still up in the air about Xenology.) There's also the HH Collected Visions book. I've also contemplated index astartes (which wsa a messy one to handle since at least some of it was online), the Chapter Approved stuff of long ago (which is all of one piece, really, and may be quasi-canon on top of that.) and even (If I feel like it) Rogue TRader.

Once I get much of this out of the way, I think enough time will have passed (in my mind at leasT) to start digging into the FFG stuff (Dark heresy, at least) although I'm still in the process of revising and reconsidering how to use all that (so this is also a delaying tactic.) as well as 5th edition (By which time I expect 6th edition will be coming out.)


Anyhow enough with the longwinded explanations. We're going to start with what I call the "Old Time" books. Stuff on the same level as Ian Watson's novels. A time when 40K was written more in a different style and with different sorts of authors than we get today. I also included Necromunda here because I consider Necromunda fairly "old time" as far as fluff goes, and I don't really know where to put the last handful of novels I have for that.

the four novels that will comrpise it will be two Necromunda, and two "old" novels. The first Necromunda is "Survival Instinct" by Andy Chambers (one of his few full length 40K novels until recently with that Dark Eldar stuff.) and covers a insane spyrer noble who lives in the underhive. The other is "Status: Deadzone" which is basically a anthology of necromunda stories from (I gather) Inferno magazine. Neither have a huge number of quotes, mainly because back then I was lazier about typing shit up and I wasn't nearly as attention oriented. But I am still too lazy to go back and re-read, re-analyze it (much as I won't do for any of the other Necromunda novels.)

The two "old" books are "Eye of Terror" and "Pawns of Chaos" - the former by Barrington J Bayley and the latter by Brian Craig. EoT is a peculiar novel in that it has many subplots involving a Heresy Era Dark Angel, a Rogue TRader with a mini starship, his Navigator sidekick, a good chunk of two Segmentum Battlefleets, and of course the Eye of Terror itself. All part of a much larger plot amongst the Gods. It is strangely enjoyable, despite being weird, and even downright grimdark at times, and it is the source of the hilarious "mass lightnening" bit that has plagued some recent discussions on SB (mostly out of spite.) I actually liked it more than the Inquisition War.

Pawns of Chaos isn't a direct "Imperium" novel per se. It's more a tale of a planet cut off from the galaxy, where Imperial descendents of a bastardised Imperium fight with feral Chaos worshippers. There's tons of grimdark there, but it manages to balance it out with a kind of interesting "order vs chaos" philosophy and an interesting (in my mind) ending at least.

First off will be Status Deadzone, which I can cover in a single update. It's small and then I'll move on. Probably Survival Instinct next, then Pawns of Chaos, then Eye of Terror.

So here we go with Status Deadzone:

Page 17 - an Escher Heavy is wielding a heavy bolter single-handed. Oddly, a regular Escher ganger (the leader) is able to use the weapon without getting knocked onto her ass, though it did shudder violently in her grip, was hard to manuver, and she had to brace herself before firing.

IT's either a very small bolter or these are Eschar who are verging on Goliath scale.

Page 18 - heavy bolter fires off "white hot" casings that can scald human flesh on contact.

Page 19 - Orrus rig hunting armour is resistant to autogun fire.

Page 20 - Orrus rig armour can have a grenade go off inside it and the suit remains relatively intact (the person inside, and the machinery inside, however, are fucked.

Page 22 - hunter rig auto repair will (if damaged) try to knit the mechanical components of the suit to the orgnaic parts (painfully.)

Page 27 - again reference to a Goliath being able to use heavy stubbers like infantry weapons (and this one is identified as a gang initiiate.)

Page 29 - Escher ganger wielding a heavy stubber.

Page 32
The solid slug hit the Coven juve in the neck, practically severing her head. Her lifeless body hurled back and curmpled on the floor amidst a rain of blood and bits of vertebrae.

Escher Juve takes a hit from a Goliath Shotgun slug. Decapitation likely comes from the sheer size of a round from a goliath shotgun/

Page 33 - Goliath Ganger wielding a heavy bolter has the bolter misfire and explode in his hands (jamming multiple bolts together). He was sent flying off of a gantry he was firing from and impaled himself on a jagged support sticking out, and was still alive. This is of cours attrtibuted to the sheer durability of the Goliaths.

Later, he has stone spikes driven into his wrists and ankles and still survives.

Page 45
Cocking the brim of his hat, Creed let his robo-sight visor scour the rocky outcrop to the west, beyond the barbed wire topped settlement wall.

Useful toy. Necromunda always has neat tech.

Page 49 - Creed's photo-visor has night-vision capabilities.

Page 49
Aiming a stubber at the head of the nearest horror, Creed pulled the trigger.

The zombie's skull exploded in a shower of blood, bone, and brain matter.

Stubber round blows apart zombie head. Laspistol ought to do the same.

Page 52
One of the gangers flew backwards as a bullet shattered several ribs; another scraemed as a dumdum puncutred a lung on its passage through his body.

More stubber fire.

Page 52

- the Van Saar ganges had a "dazzling array of targeting devices" on their weapons.

Page 52
The cyborg [servitor] was proving more than a match for the surprised conspiractors. It seemed to be almost totally impervious to their weapons . Cauterised holes in its gore-spattered flesh attested to the fact that both the gangers and ratskins had hit the creature.

The Van Saar are using autoguns and bolters, and the ratskins ar eusing more primitive weapons. I'm guessing the aVan Saar ammo causes the cauterization, although it must be rather special ammo.

Page 61 - needle pistol. fired nonlethal toxin "silently" into a ganger.

Page 63 - mention (to my knowledge the first and only mention) of the Adeptus Arbites being in Necromunda. They seem to (like the Enforcers) co-habit the lower levels of the Hives as well as the upper (where the gangers and such inhabit) Moreover, unlike the enforcers, the Arbites are (unsuprisingly) independent operators and can "gainsay Helmwar" (the guy running Necromunda.)

Considering that on Necromunda that Helmwar's name is often used in the same manner that people mention The Emperor (IE as being a nigh-godlike figure), as well as their presence in the lower levels of the Hive as well as the upper levels (to say nothing of the gear we've seen the Necromundan Enforcers wielding), one can only imagine how powerful the Arbites must be.

Page 66 - the Arbites makes use of Primaris Psykers (Sanctioned Psykers) the same way the Guard does (at least, on Necromunda they do.)

Page 73 - "tri barreled" laspistol.

Page 80 - seven feet seems to be a typical height for at least Goliath gangers, if not all of them.

Page 101 - mention of a "holo-suit", a device that imitates the shape/features of another being (in this case a scavvy) Was part of a shipment being sold to some "Talloran rebels." by a guilder. They apparently are adaptive, because its mentioned that the device was "configuring" to the dimensions of the guy wearing it. Sounds alot like Harlequin technology.

Page 112 - Spyrer hunter rigs are noted to have lasbolts and bullets bounce "harmlessly" off of them, and also possess some form of active sensors that can "scan" an area and "lock on" to targets.

PAge 113

Thermally sealed inside its body suit, it was invisible even to infrared detection. Its armoured suit had been crafted in the finest artificer workshops of a far distant world, and the suit's enhanced adaptation systems meant that it now possessed extra-evolved abilities that not even its creators could have predicted.

The Hunter activated its own infrared systems, watching the heat patterns of its prey dance through the darkness.


It paused to consider its options, strategy simulations composed from stolen memories of previous hunts flickering through its hard-wired consciousness.

Hunter rig suit capabilities. I've heard that these are supposed to be tau technology ;)

Page 116 - Auditory and hearrtbeat sensors in the hunter rig.

PAge 117 - mention of renegade Spyrer hunters - those who develop too much interest in killing in the underhive and never return, staying and adapting to the enviroment and killing any they choose.

Page 121 - the huhnter ring's close combat weapons, claws, have some sortt of poison. The suits' augmentic strength allows the spyrer to lift a single ganger up one-handed with little effort and hurl it some distance over its head.

Page 122 - mention of a "chameleon camoflage" system.

Page 135 - Escher gang leader using a magazine-fed shotgun, has a "mixed" loadout of manstoppers and incendiary. Not sure if this means its selectable between the two or if it just alternates.

Page 138
She only threw up oncec before she'd pumped three incendiaries into the already half-charred body, barely daring to look where she was aiming, not daring to miss and let it lie around for anyone to find. In the ghastly glow and stench of the falmes, she made her way back ot the dead ratskin.

Earlier they make mention of needing to "torch" victims of the plague zombies as a preventative measure (to prevent hte disease form spreading) this probably means incineration.

PAge 141 - A hab dome that Orlock gangers are hunting in is described as half a mile across. Important later. There is also mention of a "small island" at the centre of the lake.

Page 143 -
The Brassers three skiffs made difficult targets, positioned behind the centre islet for cover. The whole Black Hand gang semeed to have come on the garbage scow through the sludge-filled canal at the far end of the dome. Though they made a relatively easy target, massed on the deck, their numbers were prevailing, a new gun replacing every one that the brassers downed.

firefight between the Orlock gangers and Goliaths occur (lasers, bolts and bullets). The Orlocks are hiding behind the centre islet. The Goliaths are described as coming from the "far edge"

We know laspistol and autopistols are being used, so this gives us a rough idea of engagement range of several hundred metres (400 metres or so)

Page 144
Lord Orl breathed a sigh of relief as the scow turned back and disappeared into the canal from which it had come, the Black Hand making a last-ditch effort to reach dry land before they sank.

The Goliath boat was basically dissolving at this point, so it reinforces the idea that the Goliaths were very close to the edge of the "half mile" dome.

Page 149
His mind was hit with a jolt of terrible knoweldge. Words and images he could barely comprehend flooded his brain as the ancient device pumped the memories of lost gods through is tortured nerves.

They had called themselves Gene Lords, and hadplundered the known galaxy from frontier to frontier, colleccting not ore, not gems, but the life blood of every living horror they found haunting the abyss. There was something in this blood they needed, something for which Orl had no words. An infinitely small spiral, a tiwsted double chain they needed for some vast secret experiment that was far beyond his understanding.

That was it then, this lake around him, this stuff coursing through his poisoned veins. It was a vast alien soup, stolen from creatures beyond imagination, brewing for centuries inside this infernal vat, finally bursting forth to flood this age-old dome.

I'm not sure who the "Gene Lords" are supposed to be - Dark Age of Technology humans? Some sort of Xenos race like the Old Ones? The Tyranids?

Page 156
"Most of this scarring is from poor sutures. I don't know how they oculd still use those medi-staples. We have fibre tape ten years old that'd do a better job."

Medical techonlogy uphive compared to underhive.

Page 157
"Rejuventation?" Liz murmured.

"Yes. A complete overhaul."

Liz touched her face, gingerly at first. "My Scars-"

"Scars, lungs, blood, liver - the whole system. You've brushed up quite nicely for sucha ragged piece of work."

Imperium rejuventation technology will not only stave off aging, but it can also restore a body to perfect health from the point of death, cure old injuries, and whatnot.

Page 163

- Rejuv work extends to replacing lost extremities - in this case, toes lost in the Underhive.

Page 164
"Kick the shoes off and you're in a fully functioning combat suit. Much like the one you stole from those Hunters. The padding isn't simply there to flatter you. That's mesh armour. Finest quality. Lighter than those feathers..

The lady in question (Underhiver) is described as wearing a "bodysuit" cross hatched with nano-filaments and a feathered headress strapped to the shoulders. I guess the nano-filiments are what compose that mesh armour.

Page 164
Kassat was attired in a material that adjusted its colours to match the background as he moved throughout the room. "Latest thing, adapted from Imperium camouflage."

CAmeleoline I would guess.

Page 166
"An ancient bolt pistol, custom design - explosive, casless, laser sighted and recoil compensated..."

Caseless ammo for bolt pistols.

Page 166 - "Micro conduits" of the battle suit amplify the pulse of another person's heartbeat (evidently to make it detectable, as well as changes in its status.)

Page 168 - the suit's mesh armour stops a pistol shot (not sure if its an energy weapon ro a slug weapon) from an Inquistior's "heavy pistol.

Page 169 - Gunfire from Guard's weapons (again unknown, but presumably projectile given implications later as "bullets" are mentioned in the same page.) hit the mesh but fail to penetrate.

Page 169 - the "custom" bolt pistol has fully automatic settings.

PAge 172 - the Inquisitor's weapon is identified as a bolt pistol here. The ability of the mesh armor to stop the round is impressive.

Page 190
Hastor appeared around the front of the ancient tractor that had been pulling the wagon down the track until a direct hit from Malec's grenade launcher had turned its wheezing, arthirtic engine into just so much slag and signalled the beginning of the attack.

Grenade round melts an engine. Thats easiyl MJ (single or double digit) range, since most engines will be several kg (if not several tens of kg) of metal

Page 194 - "antique, single shot rifle" blows the head off a Cawdor ganger. Porbalby equivalent against a full power rifle round.

Page 201 - Autogun fire against an Orrus rig (battlesuit) is again proven ineffective (Chestplate.)

PAge 201 - las-fire hitting flesh produces a tell-tale "hiss"

Page 202
Two of the Orrus-clad hunters fired their glove-mounted bolters, hitting the intrudter mid-chest. The interloper was punched backwards, but managed to retain its footing. Several unarmoured bystanders anda militiaman fell, caught by shrapnel from the twin impact.


By rights, the threat should have been eliminated - its chest had been reduced to little more than a smoking ruin.

This is the first time I've heard of the guantlet-mounted launches on the Orrus rig as bolters, eveh though that is quite obviosuly what they are. the bolts quite obviously blow holes in the chest.

Page 202
Firing bolts from both fists, it blasted both its attackers back into their fellow hunters and the chaotically milling crowd beyond

Mentioned as "thrown into an ungainly heap. Whether it is momentum or shock doing it , we dont know.

Page 204 - Battlesuits have photo visors and nasal filter plugs.

Page 207
The low light level had already triggered his photo-visor, which cast the area in a pale greenish glow.

Photo-visor displays its Night vision capability

Page 211 - the hunter suits have their own comm-links.

Page 212
Stinging sweat ran into one eye as he triggered his suit's targeting mechanism. He blinked it away as he raised his right hand and brought the twin crosshairs that now floated before his visior-enhanced gaze togehter on the curve of a valve assembly,

Suit targeting system.

Page 214
One of Kayne's bolts hit a ganger square in the chest, turning him into just so many litres of blood and liquefied bone. The sight of their comrade's explosive dissolution was enough for the rest of them.

Bolt round form the Orrus rig more or less pulverizes/blows apart a ganger.

PAge 225

- mention of the hunters using "intricate webs of atripwires and semi-autonomaous proximity alarms" during rest periods. The huunters would slip into a "narco-assisted reverie state, somewhere between sleep and trance." while the suit's self-repair systems fixed what damage they could.

Page 227

- mention of "limbs" lost to las-fire or chests that were "pulped" by bolter rounds. (hunter suit weapons.)

PAge 228
A trio of ratskins hurled themselves at Kayne. Reacting on instinct, he pulverised them with bolter-fire, only to see them replaced before him by more human-looking Underhivers...

More bolter pulverization.

Page 230 - Orrus rig suit can lift up and use the body of a Goliath ganger as a shield.

Page 231
Telmac fired a volley at the ganger who turned a melta in his direction. Two bolts missed, teaerign holes in the nearby stack. The monolith rang with the impacts, teetered for a moment, but did not fall. His last bolt hit the weapon, not the man who held it, but the effect was the same: the Goliath was vaporised by the suddenly unleashed power of his fully charged weappon.

Goliath vaporized by meltagun.

Page 231
Behind him stood another, armed with a las-pistol.


The las-beam seemed to disappear as it struck Schular's buckler shield. The gems taht studded its rim flashed once - then the beam re-appeared, heading back the way it had come. The ganger didn't have time to realise what had happened before his headles corpse hit the ground.

Las-pistol shot takes off ganger's head.

page 231

.. kicking a corpse that had been reduced to little more than a smoking torso by the impact of multiple bolter rounds.[

Probably counts ad exploding.pulverizing.

Page 258

The exit wound in the back of his skull gaped wetly up at Vex as he returned fire, hitting another ganger low in the body and vaporising a hip and the upper section of his leg.

Bolter (possibly bolt pistol, but the weapon is used two handed so probably a bolter.)

Page 273
As if sensing his intention, the Yeld hunter's next shot seared through his left knee. Pitching forward, he cried out, as much in frustration as pain. The sickening scent of cooked meat leaked from the wound as he rolled over onto his back and leant forward to grgasp the ruined joint.


Nerve-endings cauterised by the las-beam, Kayne's leg below the knee had gone mercifully numb.

Las shot from a Yeld hunter rig.. not sure how this qualifies as far as lasweapons go.

Page 280
"The Underhivers call such knowledge archaeotech - lost examples of the massive world-shaping technologies our forebears used to spread the human race across the galaxy, to colonise the worlds they found, to riase this and the other hive-cities of Necromunda. But not all archaeotech exists on such a scale. Some of it is minute, designed not to manipulate base materials such as metal and rock, but blood and flesh and bone. To move within us and between us, to make mind and body one and to bring all minds togehter."


"Its creation is lost in time, but we believe it was created to ease the process by which worlds might be re-modelled, made more suitable for human habitation - or else to alter the bodies of colonists to fit the world on which they chose to live.

Its worth noting these "micro machines" or whaterver size they are can easily replicate living bodies from any matter, or build any other sortts of structures they might need from other materials (manipulate the materials of the Hunter rig battlesuits, for example.) in true "gray goo" nanotech fashion (They replicated the body of a hunter up to and including apparently his battlesuit, with little effort.)

Page 281
Distance was no obstacle; the language produced and translated by the minute machines that now flowed through him could convey unbelievable amounts of information across vast distances, beyond the range of human perception.

More on the capabilities of these mini machines.

Page 283
There were fifteen of them [Space Marines], Kayne counted. Half as tall again as a man, their armour was midnight black, but for the unit markings on their shoulder plates and a grey heart emblazoned on their chest plates. Half their number carried bolters, etched with the two-headed Imperial eagle; the rest carried more bulky-looking weapons; meltas.


The only answer he received was the dull roar of a melta being triggered.

And the AStartes show up.

Page 283-284

Cinar did not mention that these creatures [the machines in the bodies] were now safely stowed aboard the Thunderhawk that rested on one of the Spire's lager landing pads, ready for transport to the distant laboratories of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Because the AdMech love any advanced tehc like that.

Page 284 - the "still smouldering remains" of the hunters (and their rigs) from the melta(s)

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-10-02 10:36pm

Well next up on the "Old Tyme" list is Survival Instinct, a Necromunda novel by Andy Chambers. This was, aside from a short story or two, the only fiction he'd written anywhere in 40K (up until recently - he's writing some stuff on the Dark Eldar as I recall paralleling Gav Thorpe's "Path of the Eldar" series) and it's kinda interesting as a look into how he views 40K contrasted to other authors.

Anyhow, the heroine of Survival Instinct is "Mad Donna" Ulanti, who like Kal Jerico is a up-hive noble who got tired of spire life and fled to the freedom and danger of the Underhive. Unlike Kal, Donna actually showed up in Necromunda as an NPC character and had a little blurb. Sufficed to say, the novel differs somewhat from how Ulanti was depicted in the game fluff, which actually isnt a bad thing - she's a much more sympathetic and likable character from the novel POv without breaking from the game fluff too badly.

Also, like most Necromunda novels, we're shown a glimpse of an Imperium which is much more highly-teched than we're used to in modern 40K (which was pretty much how Necromunda was.) Which will be interesting in and of itself. Anyhow, enjoy!

Page 15
A hotshot las-blast scored the plates at her feet in a glowing, spitting question mark.

The bit about a "question mark" implies something of a sustained beam rather than a single short burst. It also seems to be more thermal than explosive damage. Also we see hotshots can be (illegally) acquired by civilians on Necromunda. See what I said about high tech? :P

Page 15
One thing most people forgot when it came to bionics was that good ones could have distinct advantages over the fleshy original. Donna's artificial eye was a top-range Van Saar model. Among several useful quirks it featured an automatic photosensitive glare filter.

- Mad Donna's bionic eye has "photosensitive glare filters". It's also a Van Saar bionic, which means that (by Underhive stnadards) its an extremely sophisticated piece of gear. That said, it's only the "good" augmetics that give advantages.

Page 15
Shallej, a bald, bulky figure in a long flak coat, was standing a little to the left of the door, covering Daonna with the red dot of a bolt pistol targeter.

Targeters here are identified as being a kind of "red dot" sight.

Page 16
Buzz-saw's stub pistol boomed off a round but fired wide and Kell's shot was a fraction of a second slow as the hotshot's power pack struggeld to build up a fresh charge.

A hot shot round (or at least this one) takes a noticable fraction of a second or so to build up a charge This probably indicates that while poweful they're not exactly designed in some cases for rapid fire. (Again they'd turn a las weapon into the equivalent o fa "bolt action" heavy rifle.. like a 7.62mm NATO or .50 BMG caliber.

It's interesting that the hot shot powerpack required a noticable delay to build up a charge. This has been implied for lasguns before (Space Hulk, more recently in Imperial glory, etc.) Even more interesting is how the weapon could fire what appeared to be a sustained burst before needing to recharge. apparently these particular "type" of lasguns have some large-capacity capacitors that can hold a short duration burst of lasfire (several seconds, maybe?) but then needs time to recharge before it can fire again.

Page 16

Blinded by the hot, sticky blood covering his bionic thermal sensor and reeling off balance, Shears was in trouble and he knew it. He panicked and tried to use his piston-enhanced strength to throw the snarling, laughing woman off, but Donna spun him by the elbow and rammed his cumbersome bionic blades into Buzz-saw's guts.

- Guilder pit-slave equipped with a "bionic thermal sensor." (though covered with blood it apparently is hard to use.). Pit slave also has "piston enhanced strength." Apparently Underhive augmentics can get positively Orkian at times.

Page 16
The .75 mass-reactive gyro-jet pulped his head like a rip melon being hit by a truck.

The aforementioned bolt pistol. Explodes a head. Called a "gyro-jet" in-universe for the first time I can remember, but nowadays I object to comparing bolters to gyrojets becuase they aren't strictly speaking all gyrojets and not totally like them (some have as much or more to do with RPGs than with gyrojets.)

Page 18
By that time she had already found what she was looking for: two heavy trapdoors in the floor with a girder-work, a frame and winch assembly over them.


It was the ideal escape route out of the bounty hunter's trap, or it would have been if the trapdoor weren't secured by heavyweight tungsten mag-locks.

Big trapdoor, soon to be destroyed. Implied to be made of tungsten.

Page 18
..a plasma weapon took precious seconds to recharge.

Implies "seconds" recharge rate on a plasma weapon (in contrast to others which can be minute or more)

Page 19
They found the trapdoors melted through, their edges still glowing cherry-read from the fearsome heat of the plasma blast.

Given above, its implied the trapdoor is both fairly large and composed of metal. Assuming iron composition and being square 1/2 meter by 1/2 meter, and 2 cm thick. That would imply a mass of around 39 kg for the door. To melt through it would require around 46 megajoules minimum assuming my assumptions hold true. It goes without saying that the calc is better used as a (broad) "order of magnitude" indicator of megajoule range firepowe r(per shot) for plasma guns, which isnt really surprising.

Page 19
She was 'holed up', as Underhivers say, in a broken pipe halfway up the wall of the dome below Glory Hole. She had a dew-sheet stretched out and a small fire going with a couple of cat-sized rats roasting on spits, the dribbling grease hissing and popping in the flames.

- "cat sized" rats.. ick. Rats are viewed as an essnetial source of meat in the underhive, which should tell you about what sort of place it is. Better than eating Soylent Green (EG Corpse STarch) I suppose.

It also suggests that food supplies and the threat is not as great a problme (at least in the underhive) on Necromunda as it is in other cities. although I wouldn't say it is the best (or safest) fare either.

Page 22
Her laspistol was an exquisitely made spyrer pattern that she had carried ofr as long as she had been in the Underhive. In all that time she had never had to replace the power cell or even recharge it, nor once clean the muzzle lens, yet it remaind ever ready to inflict harm.

the laspistol was her former husband-to-be's. Donna has been in the underhive for 5 years. If we assume that in a month she fires it about half a dozen times, this means the laser has at least 350-400 shots in it, minimum. And it doesn't even seem to be close to running dry. A more likely estimate is "thousands" of shots, which isnt exactly unheard of. It shows what high end lasgun tech is capable of, although the "not needed to recharge" may simply reflect the efficiency of the weapon or the fact it relies on explosive/mechanical damage rather than burns to cause damage. Even if the pistol is pumping out a kilojoule or so per shot (which is not impossible nor unreasonable) the fact it may be packing hundreds if not thousands of such shots into a mere pistol is damn impressive. Imagine what a rifle-sized variant might pack!

Page 23
Donna had kept the cumbersome plasma pistol because it was such a great equaliser. No matter how tough an opponent was, a blast of incandescent plasma would seriously wound or kill them and they knew it. Even the sound of it about to discharge would make most foes duck for cover, and as the escape from the warehouse had proven, its ability to annihilate obstacles was more useful still. It was on a three-quarter charge, the power-hungry pig that it was, and firing it would have to remain a last resort until she was near a viable power source. Finding a replacement plasma flask for it would be harder still where she was going.

- Plasma pistol is on "three quarters" power after a single shot, implying it normally carries four shots. It's a "crudely made and ugly" Underhive piece. It also is noted that it needs a "plasma flask" replacement in addition to recharging the power. I assume this is the "photohydrogen" thing mentioned in other sources.

Page 23
She settled herself into the pipe and flipped her bionic eye over to its alarm mode. If anything bigger than a fly approached her hiding placec, a motion-sensor would instantly wake her.

Her bionic eye also has a motion sensor and apaprently has at least some degree of computerization. Even though its a sophisticated Van Saar model, I'd think that such features could be built into a helmet too.

Page 28
The noble houses frowned on anarchy and disorder in Hive City, so members of the Industrial Houses descended beneath Hive City to fight over the hundreds of square miles of abandoned hab domes, transitways and other crumbling strata of previous industrious generations.

The Escher told her they came to get more resources for their sisters in Hive City, where every mouthful of food or cup of recycled water was treasured.

- Underhives (beneath Hive City) sprawl for "hundreds of square miles", giving us an indicator of how big Necromundan Hive Cities can be. We also get the spiel about the importance of organic resources on a Hive World (Water, food, etc.) - although it isnt quite as dire as some seem to be (starvation mere weeks or months away, if that) it still is of concern. I suspect Necromunda must have some pretty impressive growing and recycling capabilities for a hive world.

Page 28-29
Just a few hours in Hive City had made her understand the desire to give violent release to the unbearable tension she'd felt. To live every day cheek by jowl with a billion angry people in a polluted maze shut away from the skies...

Hive city (its later mentioned that people went "below" - ie into the Underhive to fight.) numbers at least a billion souls. This is a lower limit estimate, as it evidently doesn't include the Underhive (as will be seen below) And it certainly doesnt include the dozens/hundreds of other hives on necromunda.

Page 30
A Goliath stood not five metres away from her. He was tall, but massive pectorals and biceps made him seem squat and troll-like. Chrome spikes and rings prominently pierced his nipples, face, arms, and crotch. He had a heavy cylinder-fed slug gun in one hand and a steel bar in the other. The Goliath was looking down, dumbly surprised at the two smoking holes D'onne had put through his meaty chest.

- Donna's laspistol puts two "smoking holes" through a Goliath ganger's chest. No blood either. No idea how big the holes are, though, but they clearly were cauterised. Assuming a 2 cm diameter hole we might figure at least 5 kj (or 40 kj, assuming more inefficient vaproziationr ather than a pulse train) so single or double digit KJ at least - especially considering the sheer b ulk of Goliaths.

Page 31
Footsteps scrunched all around D'onne as the Escher appeared from the shadows one by one. Big Faer with her heavy stubber still smoking from the deadly burst which had killed the last Goliath. Little Tola smeared with dirt and covered in bruises, looking like the child she was. Avignon and Sirce were up in the roof supports with their rifles. Jen, Alii and Sara were on the ground with pistols. Crazy Kristi had cuts all over her body and a lot of blood on her long, slender sword that wasn't her own. They carried out the other juve, Veshla, who had a gut wound that probably wouldn't heal before it killed her.

- one of the Escher gangers called "Big Faer" is carrying a heavy stubber, which makes her a "heavy". Back in Necromunda terms this would likely mean that she's carrying around a Ma Deuce like gun and firing it with something resembling accuracy. Nowadays it mean she might be "only" carrying and firing a beefed-up M60 analogue :P

Also two Escher gangers seem to be up high with rifles in a "sniper" position. They basically attacked the Goliaths from cover, in hiding, although there was the crazy one wiht the sword as the exception. It gives you an idea, I think, why Necromunda hive gangers are considered good mateiral for the Guard. Not exactly military, per se, but they're not exactly " real life" gangs I could think of (or if they are they're like the really high end ones.)

Page 35
A las-bolt whipped past her face without warning, close enough for her to feel the furnace breath of its passage. The bolt struck sparks of molten steel from the metal gantry and the whole thing suddenly shifted beneath her.

Apparently the bolt melts through part of the gantry supports. at least partly. Assuming a 1 cm thick, 2 cm diameter "hole" we're talking close to 30 kj to melt. Although it's possible the "molten sparks" suggest partial melting, so its probably more accurate as an order of magnitude estimate if anything. If we use the Laser Death Ray site laser calculator, assuming microsecond pulses, a 5mm focal point, and a single pulse, penetration would be 10 kj per pulse that fits the dimensions I estimated above (2cm diameter, 1cm deep hole).

Why the gantry shifted after the shot, I can't say.

Page 38
Necromundan giant rats were the stuff of nightmares, over a metre long with scabrous, oily pelts, naked wormlike tails, taloned claws, piercing, red eyes that glitter with malign intelligence and a jaw full of jagged, disease-ridden fangs. Mutations are so common it's unusual to see a rat without bloated tumours, or two heads, or poisonous spines, or drooling acidic green foam. They'd long since learned not to fear
humans and there are many parts of the Underhive that belong more to rats than men.

- Necromundan rats are over a "metre long" This corrobroates other sources we learn of later (Junktion, etc.) They're also horribly mutated, notoriously feral, and not easily frightened. And these are hardly the worst things you can face in the underhive.

Page 39
One skeletal specimen with bony horns and on its head and hunched its shoulders to jump, but Donna burned it down with her laspistol as it sprang.

If we assume "burned" means cauterized, and assuming that given the size and earlier mention of cat-sized rats (or from Junktion, baby sized) - this would mean around 3-4 megajoules if the rat is assumed to mass around 4 kilograms. If we go by the uplifting primer implication of merely boiling. its roughly 1.1 MJ.

If we disregard the mass/volume figures and assume she flash burned it and it's height/width is 1/5 its length (15-20 cm of a 1 metre long rat, which would fit roughly with the "cat sized" rat earlier.) Assuming 50 J per square centimeter, and assuming it is burned head on (15-20 cm by 15-20 cm square cm) we get between 11-20 kj. If burned along the "length" we might get up to 100 kj. Possibly sevearl times that easily if multiple facings burnt.

[n]Page 45[/n]
There was a heart-stopping fraction of a second delay, ,and then a tiny part of the sun touched the sludge pits. Raw sludge flashed into geysers of superheated steam where it sturck and flames racecd away over the surface. In seconds the flames had reached the limits of the cistern and lapped hungrily at its edges.

Most of the aforementioned cistersn had "at least three meters" of sludge in them. We don't know how much water was vaporized (certainly not all of it, a creature attacking Donna had enough depth to still hide under the sludge) Assuming a 3 meter radius for a hemispherical cistern, the mass of the water in the cistern would be around 56,000 kg. Assuming about 1/1000h of that was vaporized, that would be about 140 MJ.

Assuming a 5x5x5cm "hole" was vaped in the water (about twic the diameter of a lasgun beam) it would be "only" 300 kj or so. :P

Again it's not a very useful calc by itself, due to the amount of conjecture involved and the fact this is the underhive, and something flammable (and energetic) is polluting the pit. Still its not unresonable to assume "hundreds of kilojoules" as an OoM estimate for the weapon, and wouldn't be too off-base for what we know of plasma weapons.

Page 46 -
They were lead by a scorched and blackened skeletal horror with bony horns on its head.

A dream about the rat Donna had "burned down" earlier. This would tend to suggest she simply didn't burn a narrow hole through it, and it also suggests much more significant burning than simply surface flash burns. Hundreds of kj would certainly be a reasonable estimate, although this is a purely thermal weapon (and thus not the most efficient of las weapons - blowing the rat apart or slicing it would have been far more efficient.)

This in turn suggests it is quite powerful as (inefficient, thermal-effect) laspistols go, which would make sense given we're talking a Spire noble's weapon from an important family (EG likely high quality and expensive.) This isn't something we can just assume your average guardsmen would pack, but its useful in showing what at least is possible for the tech too.

Page 46
The Pig (What Donna calls her plasma pistol) was down to a quarter charge; she must have pulled back on the trigger way too hard back there. She was lucky it hadn't overheated and taken her hand off.

Donna burns off half a charge when she vaped water in the cistern. The interetsing thing about this is that the amount of energy expended by the weapon (and the "power setting" of the shot) is tied to the trigger pull. An interesting feature that can simplify the design if applied to other weapons (not needing to worry with swtiches or selectors or anything) but it would require training to use properly (and not waste power)

Also she's worried about losing her hand to overheating. Whether it is burnt off (incinerated) in the overload or blows up we dont know (although if it blew up I'd think it would take out more than her hand...)

Still even assuming severe flash burns on her hand we'd easily be talking double digit KJ, and probably many times that simply from the gun heating up per shot.

Page 52
Sheathing her other weapons and pulling out the Pig, she lavished the power she had looted from them on their funeral pyre.

Donna uses her plasma pistol to burns the corpses of four plague zombies (two men, a woman, and a little girl.) building a pyre suggests she stacked flammable materials there to help cremate them (although where she found it... who knows) - but its also possible she's relying on their own body fat content to cremate them (possible, but it suggests that the plasma weapon at least partly dehydrates them, which is not trivial energy wise)

The most interetsing thing is that the weapon has NO explosive effect whatsoever, much like the laspistol. It is basically a plasma flamethrower (even though it isn't described that way.) a couple MJ at least for flash burns on the corpses seems likely, although the fact they dehydrate them to ignite (or to ignite the flammables) suggests it would be at least several times greater.

Page 53
Powerful, avaricious men have schemed and fought quiet but vicious battles on Necromunda for a hundred centuries and more to gain ascension to noble status.

- Necromunda has been around for "a hundred centuries", at least meaning its origins lay in or around the Great Crusade era, maybe a bit before then. Probably not a whole lot before, otherwise the time would be considerably longer.

Page 53
She remembered her mother best of all: breathtakingly beautiful despite two centuries of anti-agathics and restorative surgery, willowy and graceful despite bearing over two-dozen noble offspring of House Ulanti.

Dear Donna's mother. IT says alot about uphive culture and their sophsiticated medical technology. fAmily life is pretty shitty (as manipulative and competitive as everything else in up-hive society, so its probably small wonder Donna left it.)

Page 55
There were three men and a woman, all lesser cousins but now lionised by the household for their bravery in the face of the semi-mythical perils of Underhive. Their off-world hunting rigs were darkly magnificent suits of baroque armour, each one entirely different to the others. The hulking silvered form of an Orrus-rig contrasted completely with the spindly obsidian insect-limbs of a Malcadon. Another wore a Yeld-rig with its glittering bladed wings proudly swept back like a cloak of knives.

But the one that had caught her attention the most had been the woman in Jakara armour with her mirror shield and molecular blade. She was small and lithe, stepping lightly with the easy grace of a predatory cat. She had caught little D'onne's wide-eyed gaze as she mounted the steps and winked at her, and it seemed as if she was saying, "See, noble daughters can be just as strong as noble sons!" They had played spyrers and scawies for weeks after the hunt returned, and D'onne had always held out to be the Jakara.

- Spyrer hunter rigs are mentioned here (the hulking Orrus rigs, the insectile Malcadon, the raptor-like yeld (with flying blade-sharp wings), and the Jakara armour. The last is most notable with its "molecular blade" and "mirror shield" - the rigs are stated to be "off-world", indicating their place of manufacture as other than Necromunda. One must wonder where they are made, and why no other places demonstrate such gear (it would make very effective combat armour for other groups, like the Inquisitors or Arbites.

Annoyingly, Inquisitorial Insanity has declared that such rigs are of tau manufacture... which is not only retarded (since it has nothing remotely tau-like in its design) but also hilarious considering the sheer distances involved between the tau empire and Necromunda (which is in Segmentum solar) Maintenance concerns would be even more hilarious... if it weren't for the fact someone is likely to take it seriously (because nothing high tech could possibly originate in the Imperium... no it must be the 'dynamic' tau!)

Page 65
Donna froze and watched in fascination as a bright little bead of red light suddenly appeared on the scavvie's head. The red bead wobbled there for a moment steadied. There was a flash and the head exploded side-ways in a crimson spray. A split-second later the hiss-crack sound of a long las-shot came from the direction of the stockade.

Lasgun equipped with a red dot laser sight manages to explode the head of a scavvie. That would indicate the usual "heatshot" calc - whether it is kj or mj range take your pick :D Of course its possible it didnt literally explode (but just was violently slammed sideways) soo...

The interesting note is that the head explodes before the sound is heard in a noticable period of time. This implies range well beyond "speed of sound" - about a second at least. Say ~300-400 meters at least, maybe? Not impossible for a lasrifle on semi-auto with targeting gear.

Page 70
A bolt pistol was great for a fire-fight but was a liability in a fast draw where its heavy magazine made it difficult to pull cleanly in a hurry. Really slick operators learned to overcome this by hip firing -simply angling the pistol in its holster to let off a first round before drawing the gun. You could spot practitioners by the way they strapped their gun high on the hip with an open-toed holster.

- the heavy magazine of a bolt pistol makes it difficult to pull cleanly from its holster in a hurry. For humans anyhow. Probably not Space Marines, since they usually don't use holsters. Anyhow, its an interesting sort of distinction betwene bolters and normal weapons.

Page 74 -
He was alert, armed, and just about fully armoured head to foot with smooth black plates of ceramite, including a full helmet. D'onne fancied she could just about see his chin and make out where his eyes should be beneath the tinted visor.

- Enforcers (police) are fully armoured head to foot in smooth black plates of ceramite, including full helmets. Arbites wannabes, in other words.

Page 75
For whatever reason the enforcers weren't all over Hive Primus looking for her. Obviously daddy dearest was hushing things up. Not too surprising given that the enforcers amounted to being Lord Helmawr's official policing force and private army within the hive.

- The enforcers, according to Donna here, amounted to being "Lord Helmwar's official policing force and private army within the hive." This would tend to argue against them being officialyl ARbites, which are supposed to be above local control (thereby making them more reliable in enforcing the Emperor's will)

The FFG material, of course, adopts this interpretation (Enforcers and arbiters are distinct and separate things, although the latter may influence the former.)

PAge 75
Enforcer armour was sculpted to make its wearer look threatening and impersonal, from the wide shoulder plates to the heavy boots. But as D'onne stood looking at the man, she also realised that it was subtly designed to show there was a man within it. The lower face was visible and, although he had heavy gauntlets threaded in his weapon belt, the enforcer's hands were bare and stark against the black metal of the gun. He had a tattoo on the back of his hand that showed an abstract, triangular eagle gripping a number in its talons.

- Enforcer armour was sculpted to make its wearer look threatening and impersonal. Very much in line with the Enforcer's being Helmwar's personal thugs. The tatoo may be an aquila, possibly suggesting military service?

PAge 76
"It's a new model eighty-nine shot cannon, nobledam." the vox crackled flatly. "Personally, I hold best with the old seventy-fives. They were fine pieces in their day!"

- the Enforcers can carry shotcannon. Not really surprising since the Hive PDF analgoues (at least up spire) have Hellguns and carapace :P Also we see that apparently Necromunda makes a habit of designing/redesigning its weapons and coming out with newer (and hopefully better) models. Whether they are for purely internal consumption or export, we don't know, but the fact that they apparently improve their weapons is a positive sign.

Also the Enforcer armor comes with an external vox capacity - I presume this is mainly for voice amplification and clear speaking, although it may have intimidation and other purposes (doubling as a comms, perhaps.)

Page 81
"When I get out of Dust Falls, and you know that I will, I'll tell the Watchmen - Throne! I'll even tell the guilders - what's going on so they can send help. You're not alone, you know. There's over five billion people just a few sewers away."

- Donna mentions that in the underhive there are 5 bililon people just "five sewers away" from where she is. That puts a lower limit on the underhive populace. And, with the aforementioned "billion" in Hive City, this implies at least 6 billion people per hive city. Porbably many times that, since Donna suggests that there are 5 billion just a short distance away (I doubt she's literally implying ALL of them would come, but that there are plenty more people out there who would support Dust Falls against their assault.)

I should note that the guy she's talking to was the same Enforcer I just commneted on - a bit of past history with Donna - one of her close friends and associates who helped her escape her past life. He's one of my favorite characters in the book, and the one that makes Donna a much more sympathetic character (whereas in Necromunda she's described as a complete and utter psycho.)

He's also a redemptionist - about the nicest and most rational (and non burning) sort outside of Sandy Mitchell's Dark Heresy novels.

Page 82-83
Hanno's old cogitator rattled and ticked for a while before lines of lurid green text ghosted into being across its window.
"Here we are. Nothing came this way from him in the last six months."
"Where does the ship from?"

Hanno spun a small cog at the side of the window and the words retreated up the glass. "Down Town. He has a manse there registered as his shipment address, and seems to receive shipments of scrap, archeotech, stinger mould and lapweed. He also deals in weapons, ammunition, bionics, survival gear - all the usual stuff."
"There are some additional notes in the registry but they're locked. I'll see what I can do"
"..remember who taught you to tickle a cogitator in the first place." Hanno's gnarly fingers flew with surprising delicacy across the dirty bone keys of the cogitator, the eagle tattoo on his hand swooping and diving like its living counterpart.

- the chief watchman of the town Donna is staying in (Dust Falls) has a cogitator upon which he keeps many records, including of guilder activities. It's not specified whether these are records pertaining to activity at or around Dust Falls or if he's receiveing data from other parts of the Hive, but the latter is certianly implied (they pull up data on one guilder's activities on the past six months, even though he's stated as not having come around Dust Falls in half a year.) This suggests the hive itself has some sort of data network in place, which isn't surprising. Given the way they constantly build on top of the older parts of the Hive, I suspect that "old" connections to such a network would exist and could be taped into in the underhive.

Also interesting is that the enforcer is so computer-knowledgable.

Page 93
It was an unusual weapon, a short but heavy looking chainsword formed like an espadon with two cutting edges and a needle-sharp serrated blade at its tip. Most chainswords had a single cutting edge with the return edge of the blade inset for around two thirds of their length. This was because fighting with one chain weapon against another was nasty, dangerous work; the contra-rotating teeth could bind and spit each other back with surprising force. It was all to easy to have a chain-blade rebound into you with a messed-up cut or parry, hence the protective cowling. The bounty hunter had to be supremely confident of his skills to wield a weapon like that.

Commentary on chainsword design and fighting, and why mainy Chainswords are single handed. It is worth noting that we often see that Ciaphas Cain wields a "double edged" chainsword, ,which can be taken as indication of just how badass a swordfighter he is.

Page 97
Perhaps it's because 'impact trauma remained one of the most common causes of death among the notoriously short-lived denizens of Hive Primus. According to the hive census, it accounted for thirty-eight-point-two percent of reported fatalities, putting it ahead of gang violence, carcinogens and industrial accidents on a daily death toll that counted in the millions. Of course, that bland statistic covered a multitude of causes ranging from suicide through to carelessness and neglect to outright murder.

- the Hive census suggests that the death toll for Hive Primus runs into "millions" daily, coveirng a multitude of reasons.

Page 105
Her chainblade struck home, ripping through the heavy material of Kell's flak coat and its lining of mesh armour like paper. The bounty hunter howled as the relentless teeth chewed off a meaty slice of haunch and upper thigh before glancing off his hipbone.

Chainblade vs flak/mesh armour of some kind.

Page 107
Donna leapt behind Kell and jammed her own gun against the back of his bald skull.

Donna felt an almost orgasmic sense of release as she pulled the trigger, spreading Kell's brains out across the dirt floor of the UnWeLcoMinN. The shot was a shout of ecstasy in her ears; the bolt was her incandescent euphoria as it burned his hated skull to ash.

In the momentary warm afterglow, Donna looked down and found to her surprise that she had shot him with the Pig. There wasn't much of Kell left that wasn't charred or smoking.

Plasma bolt incinerates the head of a bounty hunter. If it were total cremation, it might be 10-15 MJ, depending on the size of the person's head. However, it's fair to note that it quite obviously wasn't total ("spreading brains" across the floor) suggesting it only burned part of the skull/head. It could be "merely" single digit MJ in this case with steam explosions blowing the skull (and brains) apart.)

It's worth that since Donna was surprised by the plasma gun, she though she was using her laspistol instead, suggesting it is capable of simialr effects. On the other hand, we might just assume she expected to burn/blow apart his skull, which would take alot less energy :P (single double digit KJ at least, especially with burns.)

Page 115
A crackling sound and a shower of sparks over on the roadway caught her attention and distracted her from the earnest Enforcer Hanno. At first she thought there had been some kind of accident among the lines of moving vehicles, hut then she looked more closely at the roadway and realised she was mistaken. It wasn't a solid road at all. It was a wide, grid-like mesh of thick rails that fizzled and spluttered with vagrant electricity in the cloying mist. A vehicle breaking away from the steadily moving traffic stream had caused the sparks. It had jumped onto different rails that curved over to the walkway where she and Hanno stood.

As the vehicle drew closer, Donna saw a blank-eyed servitor at the controls. It was severed at the waist and attached to a turntable at the prow. A long, narrow hull covered by a grimy plastiglas cabin stretched back behind it, large enough to carry perhaps twelve. At the rear of the felucca, a larger turntable bore what looked like a huge crab claw, but instead of gripping the rails it only touched them with its two points, seeming to stick there and carry the whole weight of the craft. The arcane sciences of electromagnetism were at work.
The narrow bench seats inside the felucca showed that it was intended for transporting at least forty or fifty people, with overhead rails for others to steady themselves while standing. D'onne was mortified at the idea of so many people crushing themselves into the filthy vehicle and was glad that the nose plugs kept out the stink of the unwashed.
D'onne suddenly saw that the streams of vehicles hung both above and below the rails. Weaving, splitting and rejoining, their head and tail lamps made knotwork traceries in the mist. Buildings swirled past: great slabs like tombstones pierced by roads at different levels, skeletal towers covered in lights, squat-looking steely ziggurats.

- vehicles in Hive Primus seem to run off electormagnetic levitation and propulsion - except that it functions much like real life vehicles - there are roadways, ,traffic, etc.

Also Donna regards "electromagnetism" as an arcane science, but she is knowledgable enough to recognize when it is being applied in technology.

and the vehicle she rides in, the "felucca" is a glorified city bus :P

Page 118
D'onne felt a tiny stab of guilt as they swept past platforms crammed with proles. No doubt they were waiting for feluccas like this one to take them back so they could begin their downtime: ten precious hours in their habs before they were on the lines again.

"Really? Not shortages or austerity measures or the eighty-hour work cycle?" These were all things her tutors had cited as causes of unrest.

- the Hive workers have ten hours of "downtime" in their habs before having to return to work (including transit) this seems to suggest at least a 10-12 hour work schedule plus 2 hours or so of transit (slightly moreor less for hivers depending on distances, I expect.) Later Donna mentions "eighty hour" work cycles, which I assume means 80 hour weeks. Yet again another reason why hives are shitty places to work.

Page 130
Donna saw the Delaque illuminated in the tunnel mouth as he fired a single manstopper round from his shot cannon aimed straight at her head.
A scatter round would have smeared the contents of her skull across the tunnel, but the manstopper trades spread for hitting power. She was already turning and a preternaturally fast flinch meant the solid lump of lead tore a smoking hole through her dreads instead of her brain.

- Shotcannon firing a "manstopper" round, a solid lump of lead that leaves a smoking hole in organic tissue when it hits. (later mention of "burning hair") Its noted that a scatter round would have smeared the contents of her skull across the tunnel. Must be a "solid slug" type round rather than shot.

Page 137
They relieved Hanno of his shot cannon before letting him go further, although they allowed him to keep his sidearm - which was ironic, considering the holstered bolt pistol he wore at his waist was a far deadlier piece than the cannon he carried.

Enforcer bolt pistol is considered a more destructive weapon than a shotcannon. Presumably the latter has more range than the former, however. Of course, a shotcannon is just a up-scaled shotgun.

Page 155
Bullets and las-bolts blew them apart before they even got to use their much-feared venom

Millisaurs, which according to the Necormundan sourcebook, are large centipede mutants that can be up to two meters long, are "blown apart" by las weapons and stubber/auto-weapons. Not too useful since we dont know how many shots were ivolved, since this was a description from Donna's past time with the Escher gangers.

Page 155
It was a fat, teardrop-shaped craft almost two-hundred metres in length with an incongruous set of stub-wings projecting out for about a third of the way along its length.
At first she had taken it for some kind of atmospheric shuttle, but it had open decks on top and a definite keel below, so whatever it was, it had been designed to travel through a fluid medium, although probably not the sump lake.

- Donna notes a craft of some kind "almost two hundred metres" in length . At first, she think's its an atmospheric shuttle (not quite, though we learn later it can both land and move on water as well as fly in the air.) Again showing that shuttles and other small craft in 40K are as large as some universe's spacecraft. :P

Page 161
"People come down here because they want a new start, because they think that Hive City is frikked up and they want to be free of it and there's nowhere else to frikkin' go."
"But there's a lot more who dream of it but never make it - they're too frightened of losing their pict feed or their shower, or their two meals a day, or their friends on the line or their precious frikkin' routine."

- mention of "pict feed" and "two meals a day" and showers as being part of the routine of a hive city inhaibtant. Food and television, in other words. A nice bit of normality amidst all the grimdark, evne if it is drudging. It's also interesting in the sense that Donna Ulanti is something of a hero-figure and myth in the hives - at least among the midlevel sorts, at least by this ganger-chick's words. Donna is a reluctant hero, but a hero nonetheless, and its one of those things I liekd about this story.

Page 170

- Donna comments on the accumulated waste of a "million billion trillion" hivers over the many centuries. IF (and I say only if, since it is more liekly this is hyperbole) it were true, that would be an insane number of people.

Page 172
The Goliath saw the white lightning gather about the Pig's muzzle and dived aside but the pit slaves were not so lucky, their smoking cybernetics and charred flesh hissing into the sump in a molten cascade, as a survivor fled screaming.

Burns the flesh of modified pit slaves and melts their cybernetics. Assuming the usual "flash burn" stuff multiple slaves suggests at least 1-2 MJ, although the "molten" bit suggests it might be more intense than that (even if its just augmetics melting)

Page 184
Market forces on Necromunda had been ruthlessly monopolised and jealously protected by the Houses for centuries. Even a slight fluctuation had huge implications for Hive Primus. Proles coudl find themselves in or out of work by the millions and whole sectors of the city could open up or close down as the finances shifted

Comments on ecomony in the Hive City. Sounds alot like America.

Page 185
After thousands of years energy had become the most desperately sought-after resource in all of Necromunda. For millenia, engineers had tired unsuccecssfully to balance out the massive requirements of the teeming populace and industry of the hive world with the concerns of availability and cost. Their demands had reduced the surface of the planet to a poisoned ash waste and necessitated the building of the first hives so that people could shelter from the cataclysm they had created around their remining energy reserves. Energy consumption still remained the most significant limiting factor in teh groth of any House.

Comment on resource availability and allocation in Hive Cities. It's interesting they consider energy to be the most crucial resource, considering most hives of the Necromunda type have basically tapped out all their resources. I believe Necromunda is running its hive on Geothermal taps. This makes you wonder what the rate of energy consumption actually is if after thousands of years they're worried. Apparently they can't sustain fission, fusion, or anything like that - at least not by anything on the planet. Given the estimated energy reserves of Earth (e31 joules), sustained use over 10K years would be... interesting - although nothing says they were using geothermal power since the beginning - they must have used of all the fissile material, the existing hydrogen, etc.. which is not exactly going to be trivial fuel supplies either. IT suggests some pretty hefty energy draws across the planet either way.

Page 194
Undaunted, he unleashed a swing at Donna anyway, catching her off-guard with a rib-cracking strike in the chest. She tried to roll but was hurled backwards by the force of the blow. Red flashes of pain shot through her torso as she tried to breathe..

Goliath ganger swinging a heavy iron mace at Donna. Knocked aside, but survives. She's either very tough or very lucky, or well armoured.

Page 199
The Goliath flinched back as a chunk of railing vapourised beside him.


Two pit slaves were coruching in the lower doorway with stub guns drawn.

STub gun "vapourises" part of a railing. Probably single shot, given stubguns are semi-auto. Might have vaporized if the slug had a payload, but its nigh impossible for it to be from KE. Can't really be calced though even if we DID take it litearlly anyhow. Don't let it be said I take every single case 100% literally :P

Page 235
Then they came equipped with weapons beyond the comprehension of their enemies and armour suits that were smarter than those they protected. The suits had stored water and food to nourish the nobles, inbuilt diagnostics to tend their wounds and inertial maps to guide them to prey located by a suite of sensors.

Reference to the hunting rigs worn by Spyrer hunters, and their capabilities.

Page 238
He had a bolt gun, a rare sight in the Underhive thanks to their expensive ammo and temperamentla reputation. Bounty Hunters, gun-scummers, watchmen types like Hanno often used the pistol verison if they could get their hands on one. The miniature rockets that bolt weapons fired, the "bolts", could blow off limbs or eviscerate a body with a single hit, or even cripple with a near miss. They were so deadly only plasma gave more chance of a one-shot kill.

Bolt guns can "eviscerate" a body. THey can also inflict damage from near misses. And only plasma weapon are more destructive, so it claims. Frankly I wouldn't ruel out missile launchers or meltas. And predictably they are expensive (for civilians) and temperamental, and their main value is the spychoolgical one.

Page 239
...when she pulled the trigger, nothing happened. She jerked the trigger again and the pistol's grip suddenly pulsed red-hot. She dropped the gun with a curse. Julius laughed.
"Thought you could shoot me with my brother's own gun did you?" he shouted. "Ha! It remembers its place better than you think."
Through the strobing flashes of bolter fire, she glimpsed her laspistol. No, she corrected herself, that was Ko'iron's laspistol winking up at her from nearby. She wondered what other in-built protocols it might have that she didn't know about. It could obviously sense somehow if a target was of Ko'iron blood and punish the user if they repeatedly tried to fire on them.

Such technology was difficult, but not impossible, to achieve. Donna had heard of weapons keyed so that only certain individuals could use them and this was some bizarre twist on that arrangement. It was probably intended to prevent Ko'iron siblings from shooting each other in the back. She wondered if it now remembered her as 'bad' and would punish her if she tried to use it again.

- Donna's pistol was formerly of another Noble House she was supposed to marry (and mutilated the husband before fleeing to the Hive). It evidently had some fairly sophisticated sensor gear instaled in it that let it scan/detect the targeta nd know if it was of the same house (it wouldn't function agianst them.) and would even prevent others from using the weapon against them through pain.

Even allowing for "sophisticated" tech in the Spires (nobility), that is a rather impressive feat - on par with the "auspex" sensors kasrkin had in the eisenhorn novels quite easily, given its apparent recognition abilities and self-defnese properties.

Page 245
She aimed the laspistol at him.


She waited for half- a second for the shock to register in Ko'iron's mind, ,then she shot it in the eye.

The servitor's head exploded in a shower of flash-fried brains and gore.

Donna's laspistol blows a servitor's head apart. Again ought to be self-explanatory, although blowing apart something that is likely part metal and part organic should be harder single or double digit kj easily. Also note the "flash fired" brians.. that ought to be worth several tens of kj alone (assuming third degree burning)

Another curious thing is - how does it explode now when it failed to blow apart a cat-sized rat? Steam explosion perhaps (which would not be very efficient and would amp the energy requirement some) or does it change settings/configurations?

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-10-20 01:24pm

Next old tyme update: Pawns of Chaos. I'll probably do this all in one go, since the techie stuff isn't all that much (its more like a hybrid 40K/WHF novel really. Better than Daemon world was at any rate.)

I'm deciding whether or not I'll throw Daemon world in with this. I've decided to add Farseer to this list too.

Page 7
It was not until he saw the wall dissolve that Zarcon realised how stupid he had been to imagine that men like him could possibly make a stand against the invaders. The man to his left was blown apart by a shot that went clean through the stones, and then through him. The billowing grey dust seemed, absurdly, to be mopping up the blood and shredded flesh in mid-air.

The man to his right died barely a second later, having raised his head above the parapet to measure his throw. A searing flash of light drilled a hole through his right eye a moment
before bits of his brain sprayed through an improbably neat exit-wound above the nape of his neck. The snapping sound which might or might not have been the discharge of the weapon responsible had arrived a split second later. By then the dead body had already begun to fall back, its lifeless limbs crumpling.

Ferals against what are largely imperial weapons. We dont know what the shot that does it is (bolter or heavy bolter analogue I think) but it penetrates the wall and explodes them. The other one is defeinitely some las-weapon, although of the "put a small but fatal hole in someone's head" variety rather than the "burn to death or explode a body aprt" variety. Single digit KJ could really cover it easily, although we don't know for sure the exact size of the hole or the damage mechanism.

Blowing a person apart is roughly grenade level (hundreds of kj of TNT equivalent maybe). not sure on the penetration since we dont know how thikc the wall is. Alot of it depends on how thoroughly they are blown apart, so it could be a bit lower, but within an OoM of what I said either way (eg probably at least tens of kj, and probably not more than several MJ)

Page 8
The ugly cloud that had been blasted out of the first dying man's shattered body stretched as far as a dozen feet behind him before beginning to settle and dissipate. Zarcon could make out two severed legs, and an unsightly lump that might once have been a head, but the arms had been catapulted out of sight, while the torso and abdomen had both been ripped into ridiculously tiny shreds.

The men further away to Zarcon's left and right were faring no better. Those who had not been blasted apart by bolters or holed by lasguns were in the process of being crushed and maimed by
falling stones. Some of them were screaming, but not many. No one was running away. It had all happened too fast.

And we find out the weapons are bolters and lasguns, and the effects weren't isolated it seems (Eg bolters blowing apart other people.) The description of the first one suggests he may not have been totally blown apart, so the effects may hinge more downards to the "low triple digit to double digit kilojoule" range.

Page 16
The Imperium, it was rumoured among menfolk whose conversations Dathan had occasionally overheard, had guns that shot forth lightning and liquid fire. It was also said, however, that the Imperial masters had sunk mines in Kalazendra and built factories there to turn out guns of much simpler design which fired metal bullets, and mechanical bows that fired darts like shortened arrows.

This implies lasguns are more advanced, possibly more powerful, than conventional slugthrowers. It interestingly also suggests 40K flamers are relatively rare weapons.

Page 16
Every child in Gulzacandra was told that the Imperium's wheeled metal vehicles could move faster than a galloping horse, but it was also said that the Imperium was training cavalry to use lances, and conscripting sucars from the far south to turn the loxodonts they used as massive beasts of burden into living engines of war. From which it seemed to follow, so far as Dathan could deduce, that the Imperium could not have very many guns that shot forth lightning and liquid fire, nor very
many wheeled vehicles, nor the means of easily making more.

A Gallop seems to be around 25-30 mph, and here suggests 30-50 mph depending on context. 30 mph seems a good benchmark. This is "wheeled" vehicles though, which may or may not include tracked. Though for the most part its all approximation - it's from rumor and hearsay of tribals rather than observation, but it is interesting to note as a possibility if nothing else.

Page 18
"I saw six clearly," Dathan said, although 'clearly' was a slight exaggeration, "but there must have been many others obscured by the dust. There was so much dust there must have been at
least twenty, perhaps more than thirty. They were coming faster than the fastest horse. An hour away, I thought - not much more, and possibly a little less. These hills slow tired horses, but they won't slow these things."

This is a bit more reliable, although again we dont know what kinds of vehicles are doing it. Scout vehicles I think is clarified later, or maybe APCs, so the speeds stated would not be too out of line with known ranges for Imperial vehicles.

Page 20
What she meant was that a force of twenty vehicles might be carrying as many as a hundred and fifty fighting men.


"Twenty trucks isn't an army," Pater Saltana said, glancing back over his shoulder at them. "It's just a raiding party. A far bigger force is said to be making rapid inroads in the north, and 1 suspect even that's but a fraction of the whole. I fear that this is the invasion of which our wise-dreamers have been warning us for many years. If so, the great bulk of the Imperial forces will follow the shock-troops at their own pace - the pace of marching men, not even that of horses and camules. What the invaders will want to begin with is a series of beachheads
and supply-points, but their ultimate aim is to destroy us all."

This does not seem speculation, as it fits with what we know of the IG being capable of doing (and what some books call standard anyhow.) Mostly infantry, with some vehicle stuff. Of course this is a degenerat, bastard knockoff of the Imperium, so its up for debate how this applies.

It also suggests the vehicles mentioned are merely trucks.

Page 25
Cavalon had already begun thinking of the bulk of his forces as 'gun-fodder', even though they ad never faced guns before. The incredibly powerful weapons that the Imperial forces had brought with them to their epoch-making landing were rumoured to be almost out of ammunition now, but
their owners had made the most of their temporary advantage.

The guns produced in their Kalazendran factories were by no means as powerful as those their forebears had brought from the star-worlds, but they were guns nevertheless. There was
nothing in Gulzacandra that could compete with them - except, of course, magic.

I guess this means everything is better than the stuff they can make now, which suggests even their lasguns (which may not even be top of the line) are better than the guns. But one has to wonder how a lasgun runs out of juice - they're supposed to have solar power charging capabilities even! Maybe its not built into the gun itself, but more into the powerpacks, and the powerpacks may be dying out.

Also on this planet, the Imperial technology is easily the match for (if not better in some ways) than magic.

Page 31
If he doubted what Cavalon had said, he did not show it - but Gavalon knew well enough that this man, like every other assembled on the field, must have heard that there were a million other
worlds like this one. The captain must have wondered whether, if that were true, and if the Changer of the Ways were interested in every one of them what right any petty local tribe
could possibly have to think themselves his favoured children, or the chosen instrument of his vengeance.

But the Divine Schemer is a mighty god indeed, Cavalon told himself. If he suffers grubs and worms to become megascarabs, ogreflies and daymoths, why should he not suffer men to become his cherished champions, or daemons more powerful than exploding stars?

Tzeentch vs Imperium, the Gavalon perspective. If I havent clarified, gAvalon is a Chaos sorcerer on the side of those opposing the Imperium, and a central figure on the opposite side.

Also we get the mention of the million worlds.

Page 37
They raised their guns - and what their guns unleashed was a kind of fire.

Living judeye trees were resistant to the heat of the sun, and to the kinds of fire-making apparatus the villagers had, but this kind of fire was something else. The crowns of the trees agitated by Dathan's stones, and two or three others besides, were instantaneously transformed into huge balls of flame. Their trunks exploded one after another, sending burning wood in every direction. The noise was frightful, all-consuming, like nothing Dathan had ever heard before. It only required those two shots to start a conflagration that promised to engulf the entire forest, and the two soldiers realised that almost immediately.

Damage caused by flamers - superior to sunlight and "fire making apparatus" of primitive villagers. Destructive but not very easy to calculate, since at least some of the energy will be coming form the trees themselves.

Page 43
Fulbra's main forces had skirted the Amber Waste to the north and south, and his own company was now making rapid headway into Gulzacandra. The invaders had met no significant opposition, and Fulbra's armoured corps had been able to blast its way through the makeshift barriers that had been set up to impede its progress. Fulbra had left his slower-moving cavalry and loxodonts far behind, although they would have a great deal of valuable work to do in tidying up after him and making sure that the supply-routes across Yevelkana were properly maintained.

In the meantime, Fulbra had sent a smaller contingent of trucks racing straight across the Waste, with a view to establishing a supply-base at an insignificant village identified on
the maps as Odienne.

Fulbra has left behind his "slower moving" cavalry and native animal units, preusmably taking his armored forces and trucks ahead. Again implying that they are faster, although whether this is "as fast as a galloping horse" or a more sustained progress (which is comparatively slower - like 10-20 mph) we don't know.

Page 47
"But you've taken elaborate steps to ensure that the chain of refuelling stations is intact, and Fulbra's engineers are under orders to clear landing-strips wherever they make camp, in
order that the aircraft can always get to them within twelve hours,"

I would guess a flight from anywhere in 12 hours. hundreds to a few thousand km/hr, not beyond what we know for Imperial aircraft.

Page 49
The weapons and equipment that our ancestors brought to this world are a very precious resource that must be conserved. We have contrived to manufacture trucks of our own, and guns of our own, but anyone who has ever used them knows how primitive they are by comparison with those our ancestors brought with them.

Clearly, our tech-priests - good and worshipful men though they are - have only contrived to retain a few of the rituals and prayers that the manufacturers of the True Imperium know. Of course General Fulbra wants me to give him more and better guns, more and better ammunition, more and better vehicles and the use of our one and only aircraft.

They've tried to replace some of their dwindling "True Imperium" resources, although with only limited success and "more primitive" than what they started out with. This could mean that some of the "special" weapons (like lasguns) we see are less powerful than "True Imperial" variants. Or, it may just be referring to the solid shot guns they manufacture and may not refer to the bolters, lasguns, and tanks.

Page 50 - the Imperial forces originally stranded on this planet did not come prepared for actual colonization, at least not in any formal manner. Everything they have and have done up to this point (200 years) is the result of improvisation, in other words, which only further reinforces how "low end" most of the feats in this book could be taken.

(I would bear in mind that while the feats in this book would indicate the Imperium is CAPABLE of ar more, that doesnt mean that the feats are actually commonplace. EVen within the true imperium there is a wide variance of performance for gear for a myriad of reasons - inconsistent logistics, manfacture, politics, etc.)

Page 68
Had the numerous preparatory sacrifices not been required well in advance, it would have been a very awkward task bringing the victims to the altar in a fit condition to be murdered, but the all-wise and ever-patient Changer of the Ways was always prepared to hold spilled blood to the credit
of his agents, so that they might store up power for important rites. It was even rumoured that he paid interest on such accounts, and that ten gallons of blood leeched by clever torture a month in advance of its magical deployment would have the power of eleven by the time the design of the spell was completed.

Chaos Accounting, the Tzeentchian way! Not that I would always trust him to do that, since its quite possible (and in Tzeentch's nature) to go the opposite way.

Page 76 - newly corporeal daemon-thingy can hear/sense trucks and soliders from "a few miles" off.

Page 85
"No," said the questioner, who was presumably an officer. " We've got water now - and we can assume it's safe to drink, as these two must have tried it out hours ago - but we still need
food. They know better than we do what's edible."

"We've got a converter."

"Sure we do - and the prayers to go with it. But even the tech-priests admit converters aren't much good if they're only converting local crap that's as much use to us as wood-shavings. This place is full of mutants, plants and animals alike. I've been out in the wilderness before, and I know the value of local knowledge."

Interesting bit of technology - a machine for converting local matter (organic of some kind) into edible food. apparently enough to sustain large numbers of people, but it requires certain kinds of organics, not just anything. Like everything else this is probably high end on their world, but implied low-end on "True Imperial" worlds (assuming they have access ot the tech, of course.)

Page 86
"Is that what they tell you, to keep you in their thrall - that when the evil day comes, they'll use their power to destroy your enemies? Well, I've got news for you. We've got inquisitors and tech-priests, and prayers that work, and our power outweighs all the petty tricks your hedge-wizards can turn. We're the Imperium."

Imperium vs Chaos, from Imperial POV

Page 93
The psyker was already in the unsettling trance-state fostered and refined by the drug. His senses were now unresponsive to that tiny fraction of the mundane world that was confined in the monkish cell, but they were becoming highly attentive to the other worlds that existed in parallel to the dimension of normal space-time.

In some of those other dimensions, Balberith had been assured by his teachers, sight was so remarkably augmented that a man might see clear across the void to look out upon the worlds of other stars. More importantly, the manner in which a man could speak his thoughts silently within the privacy of his own head was so remarkably augmented that he could speak those thoughts directly into the mind of another, and hear thoughts that were spoken into his from thousands, mil-
lions or billions of miles away.

That was what was required. This pure-bred psyker had to make contact with others of his own kind, preferably - although the necessity was not absolute - aboard a ship of the Imperial Fleet that was close enough to Sigmatus to reach it in a matter of hours.

Interesting they believe in multiple "dimensions" plural accessbile (although I know in some sources like EYe of Terror its implied that the Warp occupies eight dimensions, so it may apply to this). Also interesting is the belief (which has some merit in what psychics can do as far as scrying and psychic FTL detection goes) of observing across ligth years. As well as astro-telepathy. That is, in fact what the "Imperium" is trying to replicate.

The interesting thing here is that it implies that power, training and possibly skill is what is required to duplicate the effects of an astropath - we know all psykers can communicate telepathically across distances, but it takes power to do it over great distances betwee planets), which is certainly borne out by the fact Librarians (who are both skilled and powerful psykers as a rule) cna duplicate this. Normally such psykers would be rare, but the soul bonding allows the Imperium to "mass produce" them, by tying the psykers to the Emperor and bolstering their strength and resilience. It oculd be the strength allow sthem to project a signal farther, as well as making them better able to resist daemons - power has both those properties.

The interesting corollary of this is that the Emperor is, for all intents and purposes, joined with and controlling one gigantic-galaxy spanning psychic choir. He is sharing a portion of his power with all those astropaths, but at the same time he can probably also tap into their power to bolster his own. This makes the Emperor analogus to an Astropath Transcendant, or the Senior Astorpath of a choir (the one who controls nad directs the activities of the rest - such as described in the Witch Roost in the Shira calpurnia novel Blind)

This also suggests that psychic servitors designed to duplicate astrotelepathy on some limited scale could exist, although they woudl be more limited and need significantly more technological boosting than a regular astropath, so the drawbacks are obvious (lots of machinery or larger numbers) but that isn't beyond the known technical capabilities of the Imperium.

Lastly is the note that they believe the Imperium could be close enough to be within "a few hours". No more than a few light years away perhaps (certainly not in-system) but either way it provides interesting insight into what sort of engine (warp or plasma) performance they think Imperial ships can perform.

Page 111
The second soldier might have done better had he actually contrived to fire, because he had brought his gun up to his shoulder first, but the yak-head who had remained with Cavalon had already hurled its spear with superhuman force. The serrated obsidian head of the weapon cut through the human's ribs like a carving knife. The soldier fell backwards, his body carried ten or twelve feet by the momentum of the impact.

Beastman is strong neough to hurl a spear with enough force to hurl him 3-4 metres backwards. Implies significant momentum behind the throw, which is unsurprising considering Beastmen have lots of strength.

Page 111
Gavalon let the beastmen who had felled the two men harvest the guns and ammunition they had carried. The weapons were neither Imperium originals nor high-quality Kalazendran imitations, but they would be a welcome addition to the firepower of his own army. Fulbra's battle-tanks were mostly crude by comparison with their original models, their engines fuelled by alcohols distilled from wood and their caterpillar tracks compounded out of an unsavoury mixture ofYevelkanan rubber and native plant-fibre, but armour was armour and their advance would be inexorable if Gavalon's thrall-wizards could not fortify their own exotic resources with the kind of brute
force that only heavy metal could deliver.

How Gavalon knows these are Imperial knockoffs we dont know, but he is a wizard and has demonstrated better knowledge than most on the Chaos Side (probably due to being a Tzeenthcian wizard). It indicates that the "Imperium" here did indeed replicate some of the weapons and vehicles (like tanks) in some crude form, although run on wood alcohol and with rubber tracks. It juts shows how versatile the designs can be I guess, even if they are low end shit designs.

The soliders in question were shown using bullet guns here, although shortly after this passage one has a "light gun" Gavalon recognizes, and takes from him. Anyhow, if the projectile weaponry is still inferior ot imperial weapons, this may or may not suggest the eother weaponsa re powerful by implication (EG Imperial lasguns are comparable to imperial autoweapons, so if these autoweapons are inferior the Imperial lasguns and autoguns both may be superior.)

Page 111
The next gunman to run into Gavalon was not quite so panic-stricken, and he was alert to the possibility that there would be enemies lurking in the outermost circle of the bushes surrounding the pool. The Kalazendran had some kind of light-gun, which made him at least doubly dangerous, but he had already used it at least once, and his vision was still slightly

Implies the lasgun is more dangerous (many times more?) than the slughthrowers he previously encountered, which may be a vague indication of how much more poweful it is.

Page 112
The hot beam was close enough to singe his shoulder, but such little pains were momentary spice to Gavalon..
He shot one, and watched in fascination as the soldier's uniform and flesh melted together as they burned.

Luke Campbell notes that lasers igniting materials exceeds 125 j/cm^2 3rd degree burns are around 30-100 j/cm^2 (depends ultimately on severity caused) What we don't know is the area affected or duration, precisely (except its fairly short.) It seems a sustained beam weapon on thermal mode and possibly sustained firing, but its hard to judge area effected. I would at least expect a few square cm, or enough to do a few thousand joules. A 10x10 cm area would be for example between 3 and 12 kilojoules (depending on whether it was clothing or flesh burnt) The quote implies a fairly large area, say chest area, which may have been "sprayed" with multiple shots. Assuming a roughly chest-like volume (20x20cm or 30x30cm) we get between 12 and 50 kilojoules, and 27 and 112.5 kilojoules respectively. Either way we still get single or double digit "per shot" lasguns, which isn't all that bad.

This might also suggest a lasgun used on a wide-aperture "flame thrower" mode, like we saw in the novel "Legion".

Page 112
He was confident that no single human could pose a mortal threat to him, but a two-ton truck with a heavy gun mounted on its back was a different matter.

Gavalon is not up facing a armoured vehicle, evne a truck.

Page 113
Fortunately, Gavalon's new eye was far less sensitive to the harsh glare of the searchlight than the delicate tints of starlight and moonlight, and he could easily make out the helmeted heads of the man swivelling the searchlight and his companion stationed at the big gun.

Gavalon shot the gunman first, and then the searchlight operator. He watched their heads explode with grim satisfaction...

Gavalon's salvaged lasgun explodes helmeted heads of Imperium troops. Probably at least single or double digit kj, though we dont really know how many shots he took to do it either.,

Page 114
He kept the stolen gun in his left hand, but his right reached down to pluck a dart from his belt.
He had not come fully-armed to the ritual, but he never went anywhere without adequate defences, and the dart was charged with a magical energy that would multiply its momentum a
hundredfold, if it were thrown with the proper skill.

Tzeentchian magic allows Gavalon to bolster the "momentum" of a dart a hundredfold. We dont know what kind of dart, but even a light sort of "dartboard dart" could be made as destructive as a bullet if you multiply its momentum by a hundred.

Page 136 - The members of the "Imperium" - at least the governor and the "chief inquisitor" and high military officials all know what an Exterminatus is. This may seem odd, but it could be that the crashed expedition they are descended from had all sorts of hidden records or data, and they wouldnt know tht an Exterminatus is supposed to be top secret.

Page 154
The barricade was the sixth they had encountered today but only the second that had required explosive charges to be set within it. Shells fired by bolters had been adequate to take care of the others. It was a waste of good ammunition, of course, but necessary. Although the trucks carrying Fulbra's vanguard - even the ones carrying the precious caterpillar-tracked battle-tanks - were theoretically capable of handling rough terrain, they moved a great deal faster if they stuck to what passed for roads in these barbarian parts.

Fulbra gave the filthy blanket to an orderly and moved swiftly back to his armoured car, signalling Colonels Hamera and Diambor to follow him. Like most of the other vehicles in his retinue the car was locally-built. Fourteen of the tanks and sixteen of the troop-carriers were originals, Leman Russ and Chimeras and Salamanders, but no fast-moving vehicles had survived the two hundred years since the landing except for the aircraft that Melcarth would not let him have. Even the motor-cycles his scouts used had come out of Kalazendran factories, although their relative simplicity meant that they were much more similar to original designs than the heavier vehicles.

The Salamander command vehicle that Fulbra used while the brigade was on the move was lightly armoured, but it was more manoeuvrable than its lumpen kin - much more so than the
fortress-on-wheels to which he would retreat when the serious fighting started. Given that the enemy had vastly inferior firepower, he had decided that mobility was his first priority for
the moment, which was why his heavy tanks had been loaded on to trucks instead of lumbering into Gulzacandra at their own stately pace.

The false Imperium still has fourteen tanks and sixteen APCS of Chimera, Russes and Salamander design left over from the original days, but everything else (including the cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) are "locally built". And save the single aircraft they've barely maintained, it is implied they had faster vehicles, although what kinds (and if they were of the Ground forces) isn't stated - merely implied.

We also get confirmation thta tanks and other vehicles obviosuly go faster on road than off. Not surprising really. But even if the crap tanks can go faster on road than horses, that is impressive (at least compared to forge world stats!)

Page 180
Melcarth started suddenly as a stone hurled from a shadowed side-street hit the window out of which he was peering.

Thrown stone doesn't break the truck window.

Page 191
Others among the soldiers had blades as well as guns - blades that were sharp enough to strike a man's head from his shoulders in a close fight - and they were even more effective, in their fashion, than the flame-throwers.

That implies they are either very large, heavy blades, the guys wielding them are strong, or they are incredibly sharp. It is not easy to decapitate a person in a single stroke, which is one reason why the Guillotine was supposed to be such a big deal. In any case, I doubt there were any real life military blades that could easily decpaitate a person that weren't large, or heavy.

Page 199
Hycilla picked up his discarded knife - a keen blade more than two feet long - and slashed his throat.

the "knife" of an Imperial soldier, like the blades described above I presume. Of course at 2 feet long its more like a short sword than a knife - maybe a sword bayonet. But that's still not something that could easily decapitate a person in a single stroke.

Page 200 - Hycilla - mutated by the touch of a Daemon of Tzeentch, can match and outrun the aformentioned armored trucks. Faster than a horse probably, in other words.

Page 222
"Never underestimate an enemy" the great beast said eventually. "These soldiers are brave. They think of themselves, modestly, as little more than a travesty of their true Imperial forebears, but they are better men than they can credit. Because they lost so much, they had to learn to improvise. The warriors of the true Imperium are fine fighting men, but they are never called upon to understand their weapons. The invaders of Gulzacandra have had to leam so much that they
have had no alternative but to substitute cleverness for faith. That has weakened them, in one way, but it has strengthened them in another. They do not know the extent to which they
have laid themselves open to corruption, but they should not be despised. They are worthy sacrifices."

This novel is full of grimdark and has some pretty retarded moments in it, but I have to say I do like some of the passages like this. It gives some more complexity ot Chaos rather than more of a "Ha ha" mustache twirling sort of villainy you usually get (IE Abbadon) - which is alot more interesting than the mustache twirling chaos types (IE Abbadon.) At the same time, you know that the respect is borne simply out of the fact they know they are sacrifices, and worthy of being consumed which is both disturbing and creepy.

Page 243

- only the Tech Priests (or what psases for them) on this planet know about parachutes

Page 251

He fired and shot a man in the mouth, blasting his jaw to shreds.

He fired again, and saw a man hurl away his laspistol in order to clutch his navel, as if by holding his intestines in he could stem the rapid ebb of his life-force.

Projectile rifle. Not sure how this matches up to real life weapons, but I dont think it would be impossible even for a 5.56 mm round if it strikes in the right place - the can make pretty big holes in the right circumstances (tumbling or fragmenting). Imperial autoweapons and lasguns should be similarily powerful.

Page 275

Fulbra returned immediately to his periscope, directing it to the place Diambor had indicated. For a moment, he caught sight of two banners himself, one carrying an image of a great taloned hand with an eye in its palm, the other bearing only the image of a vast and furious eye. The brightly-embroidered cloth of each banner shone with an eerie light, and each of the eyes seemed to be emitting a ray sharper than any searchlight.

The lenses of the periscope, over which many prayers had been said while they were being polished, should have protected Fulbra from the effects of such magic, given that the glimpse he caught was so brief, but he felt a strange shockwave move through his mind, threatening the fabric of his being with laceration or breakage. Discipline came to his aid, though:

discipline and faith in the necessity of his cause. Fulbra could see well enough that the soldiers who looked directly upon the banner - especially those who were closest to it - were quite
unable to put up the same resistance.

gavalon had magic banners, and the tech priest "prayers" were supposed to provide protection (superstition or truth? who knows) but "discipline and faith" do provide protection in sufficient quantities - this probably also implies to Imperial troops as well.

Page 284
"Now!" said the man with the gun. "The moment is at hand at last. Share her power, Deir. Draw it into you. The dose I gave her will numb her brain and kill her within the hour, but while she lives her power is yours for the stealing. Take it! Use it! Bend the power of evil to the cause of good! The Fleet is there; you have only to cry out to be heard. Cry out, Deir! Send forth a shout that will be heard across the light-years. Bring the ships, Deir! Bring them at all possible speed. Tell them that we have dire need of their power of destruction: that there is corruption here that needs rooting out."

A cheap pseudo-astropath knockoff tries to reach out across light years to a nearby Imperial fleet in a short period of time (unknown time at least) . To be fair to really make contact he needs to be bolstered by the daemon-nehanced Hycilla, who is also a psyker.

Page 289
"It's too late," the tall man mumbled, although the effort of speaking seemed to cost him as much as the similar effort had cost Melcarth. "The message got through, and the stars are standing still in the sky. The ships are coming, and they'll scour... this planet clean of your kind, heretic filth. You've lost... and I've won."

This is all part of the same scene described above, and in context it could only have taken minutes for the message to pass, which implies a velocity of around tens if not hundreds of thousands times c.

Page 291
While Ajao did manage to establish a telepathic link with the Fleet's psykers, therefore, Hycilla made a cunning effort to remain perfectly passive, allowing the awareness she shared to
flow through her without response.

This implies a reliatlvey realtime-communication, at least over a short distance... also implying a very fast propogation time (second rather than minutes, and pseeds closer to millions of c)

Page 292
Hycilla had long known, as a matter of mere fact, that the Imperium had arrived on her world in spaceships, and that those ships had been part of a Fleet maintained by a great star-spanning empire, but until she was party to Deir Ajao's communication with other ships of that same Fleet she had not had the slightest idea of the implications behind the fact.

She had always imagined the ships of the Imperium crossing space in much the same way that she had imagined wooden ships crossing the ocean that separated Gulzacandra from alazendra, but now she realized that the analogy was a bad one. In much the same way that the flying machine that had brought Ragan Balberith and Deir Ajao to her had simply hopped over the ocean through the empty air- which had no apparent means of supporting any machine - so the ships of the Imperial Fleet were capable of hopping outside space itself, into a timeless dimension where distance was immaterial.


Ordinary humans, Hycilla relaised, could not guide ships throught he strange wilderness otuside space. Only mutants touched by the wilderness could do that, and in order to do it they needed a beacon lit and sustained by an army of people like herself:

Hycilla gets a glimpse of how the Imperium navigates the warp, via analogy, and how they need Navigators to do it. Again we get the implication of a mostly realtime communication.

Page 293
Transmitting telepathic messages through the warp, Hycilla understood, was a difficult business - as difficult, in its own way, as steering ships through it. Briefly united with Deir ajao, she understood the near-impossibility of what Ragan Balberith had been trying to do. The astropaths of the real Imperium, she realised, had to undergo many years of rigorous training - far more rigorous, she supposed, tahn the training she would have undergone as a wise-dreamer - and had then to bind their souls to the Emperor of Mankind, who had once been human but had now passed beyond mere mortality to a higher state of being.

As a wise-dreamer, she too would ultimately have bound herself in time to another power, either to a sorcerer like Gavalon or - if she were especially priveleged - directly to the god that Gavalon had served., but the process had been dramatically shortened by the arrival of Sathorael. She understood, however, that there was a significant difference between her own soul-binding and that of the Emperor's instruments.

The emperor of Mankind was unique becase the Emperor of Mankind was a champion of Order in a universe of Chaos, the sole potent force interrupting and delaying the inexorable processes of universal decay.

Astropaths vs the Imperial knockoff, and the reason it succeeded. The interesting thing is that it implies Chaos may have their own analogues, as Hycilla believed she woudl link herself to a sorcerr or to a "god" much like astropaths do. Whether this allows similar abilities is unknown, but it wouldnt be impossible for Chaos to create its own sort of astropaths (and may have, as implied by other novels)

The interetsing thing is the contrast between that kind of lesser soul-binding is the goals/motivations and purpose behind the Emperor.

Page 294
Although Ragan Balberith had thought of himself as an authentic inquisitor and his associate priests as genuinely learned men, and moreover had fervently desired that his psykers might become true astropaths, two hundred years of isolation by the warpstorm had made it impossible to complete Deir Ajao's training, let alone bind his soul to that of the Emperor. Deir Ajao was a flawed instrument, who had needed the amplification of his powers by native drugs to allow him to
catch the merest glimpses of Imperial ships in his dreams. He could never have made himself heard by the Fleet's astropaths by that means alone, because the drug was too wayward, too
fundamentally chaotic - but Deir Ajao did not know that.

Nor did Ragan Balberith.

Nor, it seemed, did the astropaths who received his cry for help.

The only way that Deir Ajao had been able to get a message through to the Imperial Fleet was to borrow the power of someone whose soul was very firmly bound - but not necessarily to the Emperor.

More on normal psykers trying to duplicate astropaths. Drugs can help but are too unpredictable. It took (as I noted) the aid of a chaos-bound psyker to get the signal through, which does indeed suggest Chaos can (if it wishes) make its own psykers. Although knowing Daemons they probably would possess any such potential host rather than simply bond to it, meaning that such beings almost certainly have to burn out faster or become possessed more rapidly.

Page 295
Perhaps, in fact, the ships were coming to scour the planet clean of life of any kind.

Exterminatus, in other words.

Page 299
The grub that had begun as Nimian and had transformed itself by reckless consumption into a Lord of Change was now in the process of becoming a warpstorm: a warpstorm that
would form a monstrous net in which to ensnare a fleet of Imperial starships.

Dathan still had consciousness enough to count the star-ships, a feat of which even Hycilla had been incapable.

There were twelve.

Dathan did not have consciousness enough to count the stars into whose bed the sun that lit his world had fallen, but he knew that there must be thousands of millions, perhaps hundreds of thousands of millions.

If the Imperium of Mankind spanned the whole of that starfleld, he thought, how many starships must the Imperium have? Of what real significance could twelve ships possibly

"hundreds billions of stars" in the galaxy supposedly under the Impeirum sounds impressive even if it were true (it isnt - billions at most by certain quotes) that doesn't mean they're all inhabitable or even heavily inhabited. The Imperium does count dead worlds in its aegis after all.

Also the daemon uses a massive war and death on a huge scale ot fuel its transformation into a warp storm.

Page 300
Where had those twelve ships been going, when they were interrupted by Deir Ajao's telepathic cries for help? What difference would it make if they never arrived? Perhaps none, or very little - but perhaps not. For lack of one ship, a battle might be lost, or a world. For lack of twelve... Who could possibly know what was at stake here? Not Dathan, not Hycilla, not Sathorael - but perhaps the devious Chaos god that had made Sathorael knew, and cared.

The twelve ships were steering a course through warp-space for Dathan's world. Their Navigators had the sacred Astronomican to guide them. Dathan knew this because Hycilla knew it, and understood it to the extent that she understood it.

As soon as the ships re-entered what their commanders expected to be normal space they would be caught up in a warpstorm. Their final transition would, in effect, be sufficiently complicated and confused to make it impossible for them to reclaim their proper relationship with space and time.
They would be destroyed - not merely ripped apart, in the way that the aircraft that had brought Deir Ajao to Sathorael had been ripped apart on landing, but turned inside out and subjected to even more peculiar contortions.

That's Tzeentch for you.. triggering a decades/centuries long war culminating in the creation of a daemon force, all just to destroy 12 Imperial starships. Or perhaps not even doing that. Tzeentch is crafty that way. For all we know (and that is the point of the story I think) Dathan's choice (to save the Imperial forces) may have been teh true intent.

Page 303
Dathan did reach out, mustering all his willpower, and he did indeed discover that he had the ability to influence the storm - but he was only a man, and the storm was not only bigger than a world but bigger than a solar system.

The daemon-created warpstorm encompasses the entire system.

Page 305
The three surviving ships fell upon the world that they knew as Sigmatus, and as they fell they rained indiscriminate destruction upon its face.

They sowed their bombs in bright daylight first, devastating every city in Kalazendra. They reduced Sostenuto to blasted rubble and melted the empty hulls of the ships that had brought their cousins to Sigmatus. Then they moved to devatate Culzacandra, which still lay hidden in the darkness - until the long lines of explosions tore highways of light across its languid deserts and patchwork fields.

The time that Dathan had won for the three ships was a prize their masters were avid to use - and could have used far better had the warpstorm not followed them to the surface.

Had Sathorael not been such a short-lived entity, it might have repaired the damage that Dathan had done to its scheme, but the storm was becoming increasingly tenuous with every moment that passed. Its remnant had the power to make the stars swim in the world's multicoloured sky, and to prevent the ships from rising out of the atmosphere, but it did not have the power to turn them inside out or to shatter them into so many glowing shards.

So the ships landed.

Implied powers of daemonic warpstorm, even as it fades, and the effects of 3 unknown Imperial vessels bombarding a planet. note that they are capable of landing, relatively intact, it seems.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-11-07 04:53pm

Now we start the Eye of Terror novel.. this will be 2-3 parts.. depending on my mood. I'll plan on 3, but it may be done in a double entry later on... After that I'll stick Farseer and probably whatever single novels from "old" times I can think of which may not sit in another category (such as Ben Counter's DAemon World.)

EoT is an.. interesting novel. Not exactly super grimdark, but it has a sort of early.. bizarre since it deals with chaos and the Eye of Terror that will remind you of Chaos portions of the Inquisition War Series. It's also peculiar in that it tends to get later references (EG Shira Calpurnia novels, but Matt Farrer seems to like referencing other authors like that.) Decide for yourself.

Page 5
“That is him, lexicanium,” the technomat guard answered in a flat, amiable tone.
The librarian mentally forgave the guard for answering questions it had not been asked. A technomat had only a rudimentary personality. Its mind wiped clean for some misdemeanour, or possibly grown in a vat to serve the purposes of the Administratum, it served only one function and knew only that function. It certainly did not understand the finer points of protocol when speaking to a person of rank.
The guard’s hooded eyes dimmed, switching to the infra-red it used when escorting prisoners.

- Technomats have only a "rudimentary personality" - their minds are wiped clean (from some misdemeanor) or they may be vat-grown beings to serve the Administratum's purposes. It's a highly specialized towards one particular task, but basically sucks at everything else.

I suppose "technomat" might be an appropriate term for those kinds of servitors appraoching human intelligence, capable of speech, but aren't quite a cyborg.

The infra red is interesting nonetheless

"He is a very strong psyker, very strong indeed, one of the strongest ever found in a number of respects. It was judged he would burn out too quickly to be worth training as an astropath, so he was sent to serve the Astronomican."

Power level seems to have an inverse relationship with the lifespan of an Astorpath.

Page 8
I have engaged myself on a new type of nullship. It has ten times the screening of the old model. It could cross the Eye from end to end without being detected!

nullship - stealth systems. Also given that to cross the EYe you basically have to travel at warp (or waht passes for Warp in the Eye) it implies there are means of FTL detection - most likely the passage of an object through the warp the way some Psykers like astropaths and navigators can detect large fleets just about to emerge from the warp.

Page 8

- tower three miles above the planet. Some sort of hive I guess maybe?

Page 9

- a very powerful (but uncontrolled) psyker was capable of seeing visions of what is occuring in the EoT. Some sort of FTLm multi-ly clairvoyance I suppose.

Page 11

- "trillions" of people in the Imperium.

Page 12

To some of the academically minded on some planets even the Cult of the Emperor, the official religion of the Imperium, was not always to be taken literally. If there wer eno such things as spirits, some argued, then it was obvious that the Emperor could not be what it was claimed he was, and which in truth he really was - namely, the greatest of the gods.

This is also followed in the book by a commentary on the general ignorance of the Imperium at large about the nature of the warp, psykers, daemons and Chaos, and the Eye of Terror. The Administratum (and Inquisition) delliberately suppressed such information to prevent an ever increasingly-psychic Imperium from acquiring the knowledge/awareness which might turn them into unwitting doors for daemons. This is of course, indicative of how old the material is, as the Imperium in later editions, while not exaclty permissive of such topics, is far less repressive of them than they used to be. (as in they won't automatically annihilate guard regiments who come into contact with the Chaos tainted or daemonic.)

Page 12

- the nullship had to be transferred to the EoT via starship.

Page 12
Then, psychic screening set at maximum, it nosed through the Cadian Gate, the only properly naivgable path into the Eye.

"Psychic screening" - this must be the stealth systems, which suggests the FTL detection they worry about is psychic (which is bloody unsurprising.) It may even be that Chaos has its own means of detecting a starhsip's passage through the warp. Hard to say.

Page 13

There was no need for the prisoner to speak. The entire team of psykers was tuning into his mind. No two saw quite the same, as their own nervous systems interpreted what the shivering young man perceived, but they also shivered with him. None of them had ever before had the experience of sensing psychic energy that reached for light years in every direction, permeating the very space they occupied, mixing with the air they breathed.

The "prisoner" is the expedition's "guide", (the uncontroleld psyker who had the visions of the EoT). The psykers viewing him are a specially trained team who would be spying on the hidden realms within the Eye as perceived by this individual. He's both sensor and sort of navigator, and the other psykers are reading/interpreting and processing that data I guess.

Page 14

Without the Astronomican, the immense psychic navigation beacon provided by the Emperor and drawing on the power of ten thousand young psykers, the Imperium could not be maintained. Warp travel over more than a few light years was impossible without it.

The importance of the Astronomican ot the Imperium, although it admits that short range warp travel without it is possible.

Page 14
Now came the moment of maximum danger. For the spy team to probe clearly, the screens would have to come down for a brief interval, leaving the nullship visible should any daemon or renegade psyker be looking this way.
Should they unscreen in the middle of a particularly violent warp torrent, the minds of all aboard could be ripped to pieces. The nullship drifted, allowing the current to carry it into a calmer backwater. There it emerged from the warp, insofar as that was possible in this mixed realm of warp-realspace overlap.

- the Psykers cannot scan/spy on the Eye of Terror with the psychic (stealth) screens active. With them down, they run the risk of having their minds torn to pieces by the warp storms of the Eye. Must be too much energy for them to cope with or process.

Page 15

The screens came down.

For the psykers, it was like having a glass window wiped clean of obscuring mud and grease. They were given a clear view over a distance of fifty light years. Minds of the strangest, most perverted sort revealed themselves to their gaze, on planet after glowing planet. But that was not all. The works of those minds were revealed too. The works of minds and hands, and manic distorted machines.

A shocking panorama opened to the psykers' view. They saw construction yards for interstellar warships, on continent after continent, on planet after planet, and, for those warships too massive to be lifted off a planet except by magic, construction docks in orbit, or in what seemed to be a miamasma, floating in some strange region whcih was nowhere at all.

Battleships! Battleships by the hundred, too many to be counted, a panoply of military power for which there could be only one rason - to challenge the Imperial Fleet.

Interestingly implying psychic detection methods, at least in the eye, can span 50 light years in any direction.

Also, construction of "hundreds" of bttleships in the Eye is a cause for concern for the Imperium, as we will discover.

Page 15

War within the Eye was constant. Much as they hated the human Imperium, neither the Chaos gods nor their worshippers were capable of cooperating with one another for any practical purpose. Few new warships were ever built. In the main, the Traitor Legions still used the same ships aboard which they had fled into the eye so many thousand years before.

I imagine the only warships usually built are around Chaos Forge Worlds/Hell Worlds or the rare powerufl warlord like Abbadon. The Chaos Forge worlds are unlikely to just give them away to anyone though. Otherwise, they probably rely on acquiring ships through capture and defection. Overall it doesn't really contribute to them being a serious, long term threat to the stability of the Imperium, even with Abbadon's penchant for superweapons.

PAge 15

The psychic screens had been down for only moments. But towards the end of that time, the psykers felt the awful gaze of some malevolent intelligence.

Scanning across up to 50 LY in seconds, in the Eye. - propogation "rate" of tens of millions to hundreds of millions of c. how this would fare in realspace.. who knows. Their scrying was deetected though.

Page 21 - It is stated here that the Imperium was divided into six segments. I'm pretty sure this might be a mistake, since the novel itself and other sources say five (Ultima, Solar, Pacificus, Obscuras, and Tempestus. Unless maybe there is some super secret one somewhere.

Page 22
Nobody knew how many human-inhaibted worlds lay within the EYe of Terror. Conceivably there were as many as there were in the human Imperium itself. And conceivably those worlds were just as densely populated.

Could be, but probably not. The Eye lies in a rather not-so densely inhabited area of space and was made up of many formerly Eldar worlds as I recall. There have been mentions elsewhere of how Chaos could not match the territorial size and scope of the Imperium (at least not directly).

Page 22 - if the Chaos powers ever united/cooprated, it was feared that the forces in the Eye would overrun the Imperium. Again possible but kinda doubtful, as they tried that once before and did fuck all (the incarnated Emperor was only threatend because he held back. And he's grown alot more powerful since then. Hell it can be argued he's perpetually fighting off all four of the Chaos Gods, plus whatever Xenos gods are floating around and still doing all the other tasks he did whilst alive.

Page 23
The sporting of visually-enhancing monocles was something of a tradition in the Obscuras fleet, but the one worn by the Imperial commander was different: it was a replacement, not an aid.


Whatever the real story, it was a matter of record that Drang had boasted that, standing on the upper deck of a battleship in hard vaccuum, he could spot an enemy warship up to half a light-year distant.

Not unlike, I suppose, the ability of the Psykers on te null ship to observe events far off away. It still stands as proof that FTL scanning (at least by psychic means) can be done.

Page 24
"Gothic class battleships, supported in the main by Styx and Hades-class heavy cruisers, will make up the bulk of the taskforce." he continued. "All those in Battlefleet Obscuras, except those that must be held in reserve, will be committed to the attack. And after I have consulted with my good firend , Lord Militant commander Invisticone, I am sure we can confidently expect substnatial elements of Battlefleet Pacificus to join us also."

All of these are vessels that are either part of the long defunct Space Fleet (gothic Battleships) or the Styx/Hades class Heavy Cruisers (which in BFG are mainly chaos ships, as are all heavy cruisers.) Which leads to one of several very interesting implications. The first is that this novel is set very, very early in the timeframe of the Imperium (The Styx class, IIRC was used up until around M33 for example, then they started phasing them out in favor of battlecruisers.)

Another possibility, if this novel is believed to be set in a more recent timeframe, is that the ships are all part of the Segmentum-base naval reserve - old, outdated warships (like grand cruisers and heavy cruisers) will often get be stuck in the reserve, IIRC. Such a reserve would be a useful source from which to draw naval ships to lead an attack into the Eye, I imagine.

Either way its unlikely the entirety of Battlefleet Obscurus is made up of just Gothic class Battleships, and heavy cruisers, even in the old days. There'd be Retributions, Emperor-class and others. Hell even restricting ourselves just to Space Fleet there are a shit ton of battleship types.

Of course, we dont know how much are "held in reserve" - this more than likely means all the ships they can't spare to send on an attack - ships they need to hold back for defense so the Imperium isn't left totally unprotected. It is quite likely that the bulk of the Navy would have to be held back regardless, since the Imperium is large and it is stated (esp in space fleet) the Navy is thinly stretched even at the best of times.

Page 32

- Curiously Rugolo (rogue TradeR) seems to be able to stare into a Navigator's eye without any ill effect. Whether this is because of some ability on his own partt or whether Navigators can suppress the ability on their own (or if this is just simply an error) I'm not sure. This is old fluff in many ways, so this may predate alot of the stuff we associate with the third eye.

Page 35
The largest of these ships were only modestly sized as space craft went; the really big bulk carriers , whcih in any case were unable to land and ferried their cargoes to and from parking orbit, would not bother coming to an out-of-the-way planet like Apex V at all.[/quote]

Major starships - the ones that don't land on planets. are too important to visit minor worlds.

Page 36
The Wandering Star stood no more than ninety feet high. To a citizen of Gendova that would have seemed enormous — larger than almost any building in the city. To Rugolo and any other spacefarer it was small. He had seen armed scout-ships almost as big.

- Rugolo's spacecraft, warp capable, is "ninety feet high". Armed scout ships are of similar size.

If Rugolo's ship carries teh same rough dimensions as most imperial ships (its height-width is roughly 1/4 to 1/5 it's length or so) the craft is maybe 360 to 450 feet long - or between 100-150 meters long and slightly less than 30 meters tall. Which makes it the smallest canonical warp ship ever next to Draco and Carnelian's ships in the Inquisition War novels. It is quite likely this is one of the things that is at best rare technology (the sort you'd find with an Inquisitor or a wealthy/important figure) that the "modern" Imperium wouldn't have. (By contrast, the Rogue Trader RPG suggests the smallest warp capable craft are not much more than a kilometre long, and the samllest are Astartes strike vessels of 500 metres, but one which has some extreme drawbacks of its own int erms of engine performance.)

Page 41

A Rogue Trader was a person of rank, someone who had risen high in the Adeptus Terra, and to whom considerable resourecs had been entrusted. He was outside the reach of the priesthood. He acted on or beyond the edges of the Imperium, exploring, trading, coming into contact with unknown alien races. He was a law unto himself.[

He's talking about one of the "old style" rogue traders with the really braodly defined, powerful charters. Newer rogue traders (esp those assigned by the Adminstratum) tend to be less powerful and more specialized (wildcat charters, I've heard it said.)

Page 44
With a rumbling sound the Wandering Star lifted off, swaying in the air thanks to Rugolo’s unsteady hand on the controls, and accelerated away.

In minutes the ship was outside the atmosphere

- it takes "minutes" For Rugolo's ship to leave the atmosphere of the planet. Assuming it takes them two or three minutes to reach escape velocity or thereabouts we're probably talking single digit gees. (9 gees for 2 minutes or so)

Page 44
In fact one couldn't drop into the warp at all until one was outside a star's "warp island", a distancee of some tens of millions of miles, depending on the size of the star.


The ship's machinery did all the caluclating (for in-system navigation). All one had to do was enter the co-ordinates of the destination and make some adjustments towards the end of the flight.

Autopilot machinery. Again this is indiactive that rugolo's ship is rather advanced, rare high tech stuff... as most others would be manually piloted or use servitors.

Also we get one of the shortest jump distacnes ever mentioend - tens of millions of miles (30+ million km, or slightly less than a fifth of an AU) most jumps require you to be much further out (at least an aU or two) and only the rarest ships can get closer (Inquisition again - like in Savage Scars where 2 million or so km was considered insanely close.) Any closer (say within a lights econd of the planet) risks severe destruction (Ork ships attacking Rynn's world came out within 10 plantery diameters and suffered massive losses doing so.) Hell the ability to enter or exit the warp so very close may be indicative yet again of how advanced this ship is.

Page 45
When he awoke it was three hours later. The real-space engine had switched itself off. The ship had put itself in a parking orbit around Apex.
“Where are we?”
“About twenty million miles from Apex. Why?

- it took no more than 3 hours (the duration Rugolo slept) to reach a distance of 20 million miles form Apex, before they could drop into the warp. (The system had a very small star, which may explaint he seemingly short entry distance.) About 100 gravities (tens of gees easily) and an average velocity of 1.8% of lightspeed should cover this distance and time figures.

Page 46 - the Navigator has to consciously focus his psychic power into and through his warp eye. This is rather peculiar given what I've read of other navigators, but then again not all Navigators are alike, and this one is, by nature, rather peculiar.

Page 47 - they traveled "light years" in the warp in a biref matter of time since Rugolo dumped them in the warp - matter of minutes at most, but certainly less than hours. Assuming 5 LY in about 5 minutes would be 500c 5 LY in 5 hours would be ~9,000c. I'm leaning more towards tens of thousands of c.

Page 48
For many, though, the warp appeared as a nightmare of mad colours and abstract shapes, not always in three dimensions — sometimes in only two, sometimes in four, five or six.

- the Warp could vary in dimensions, sometimes as fw as two, sometimes as many as six. This was also alluded to in the nullship passage, though they implied as many as a hundred. Of course what "dimension" means is up for debate.

Page 50
"This system has fifteen planets, one inhabited, though with only a small population. Nominally in the Imperium, though not appointed a planetary commander. It’s called Caligula. A frontier world.”

- the system they currently occupy is "nominally" under the Imperium, has 15 planets (caligula)
Probably an example of a "client world" colony or protectorate rather than an "Imperial" world in the sense of being a formal member, particularily since it has no official Imperial Commander.

Page 55

The mechanical creatures [robots] of the sacred Adeptus Mechanicus were clumsy, clanking beasts of burden with little intelligence, most often used as bomb-carrying cannon fodder.

See this is old fluff because it mentions robots. Nowdays they mostly use serivtors.

Page 56
“I’m not sure myself if they are real or mythical, but the eldar are said to be an ancient non-human race adept at making robots. The way I heard it, every eldar wears a special gemstone on his breast. It’s a spirit stone, which absorbs the wearer’s experiences. When the eldar dies, the stone contains his spirit. It can be put in a machine or robot and is able to animate it. In that way the eldar comes back to life again, usually in order to fight in a battle or something.”

- the Eldar are reputed to be good at making robots, especially robots to be animated by the essences of dead eldar captured in spirit stones. This refers to wraith guards (the name given in the novel) of course. They aren't robots of course.

Page 68 - the Eye of Terror make bags that have interdimesnional pockets with grerater volumes inside than the outside suggests. nice to know they mastered D&D technology.

Page 75

"I suppose they could be doing four-light-year jumps without using a navigator, but I don't believe that either. You can't get anywhere that way."


"Four-light-year jumps." Rugolo nodded thought fully. Navigators were takewn so much for granted that one tended to forget the navigator gene didn't occur among alien races, as far as he knew. They had no individuals who coudl see into the warp, without which only short warp-were possible. Hence there was nothing to amtch the vast, glorious Imperium of Mankind.[

four LY is more of a rule of thumb I think than an absolute rule, and it probably varies with the race. eldar seers/farseers seem to have some facility as Navigators, Chaos can use daemons or sorcerers to some degree to navigate, and Orks use Weirdboyz with variable results.

Page 82

Before long the instrtuments detected the trail of ions, positrons, and decay products revealing the recent passage of a realspace drive.

Reaction byproducts of a plasma drive, I guess. This may suggest it is some sort of annihilation-based or antimatter drive, or it may be something less sophisitcated or different from a plasma drive. But if it were rare you think tyhey would mention it. Besides its not like the weird 40K plasma hasn't had weird "matter ot energy conversion" properties before.

Page 82
"We'll wait until it no longer shows."

They now had the other ship's direction. It was following a long, shallow curve straight out of the system, at an angle from the plane of the planetary orbits. Calliden fed power ot the drive again. The Wandering Star shot off in pursuit.

After five hours they had come to the edge of the region where the gravitational power of Caligula's sun prevented entry into the warp.

They're following another small, warp capable ship. They don't seem to be quite so rare at this point in time, much like in the Inquisition War novels. Unless maybe we're dealing with some Xenos starships, which is always a possibility. We're not exactly in Imperium proper space.

Page 82
The ships of the Imperial Navy would never set out with only one navigator on board. For others, for free traders making a living with smaller spacecraft, the case was different. They could afford — usually could only find — a single pilot capable of steering through the warp currents. Some navigators took drugs to keep them awake for extended periods, but these were apt to cause hallucinations if used too often. Many a ship had come to grief as a result. Otherwise a navigator would park his ship in a dead spot in the currents while he slept, hoping it would not drift too far off course, or else allow himself to be carried sleeping on what appeared to be a smooth current, hoping not to be carried hopelessly off course. Either way, he did not dare to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time.

- Imperial Navy ships never set out with just one Navigator, but multiple. Merchant/civilian ships, however, like free traders, usually make do with a single (overworekd) navigator. This can provide yet another reason why warp travel is so relatively slow for some ships, though.

Page 91

Like an ambassadorial mission, the flotilla descended through the endless panorama of docks and installations orbiting Hydraphur, a cathedral-towered spectacle which made the planet itself, two thousand miles below, seem small by comparison. This was the base of Battlefleet Pacificus — not quite on the scale of Drang’s own Battlefleet Obscurus base, but still grand enough to stupefy. One of the major investments of the Imperium, it was a girdle of steel and adamantium massing billions of tons. Further the flotilla travelled, emerging from the inner edge of the titanic ring and descending onto Hydraphur.

This,and the Admiral in charge of the base, are mentioned in the Shira Calpurnia novels (some sort of tribute I guess) - it's a nice sort of continuity, but also an interesting glimpse at the industrial/resources scale of the Imperium when they try.

Page 91
Whole continents were covered over with buildings — vast repair sheds, forge factories, cathedrals whose intricately decorated spires poked through the clouds, while on the oceans, too, floated gigantic fleet-servicing yards.

The barge swept down below the clouds until it approached an expanse of adamantium- reinforced concrete.

The surface of te planet. Hydraphur of course is, as we know from the Calpurnia novels,a Hive World. Also note the "adamantium reinforced concrete"

Page 93
"To act alone would be to risk seriously depleting the reosurces of Obscuras"

Without Invisticone, it seems Drang would have to commit a significant portion of the Obscuras fleet to his little plan, suggesting the ships Drang commits with Invisticone represent a fiarly signficant portion (in some way) of the Segmentum fleet. One possibility is that he is commiting the majority of their serious offensive ships (flagships, battleships etc.) but less so in the way of cruisers and support vessels and escorts.

Page 93
“Yes, we defeated Hive Fleet Behemoth,” Drang granted soberly. “But with difficulty. And then came Hive Fleet Kraken. Have you considered this, commander? Each tyranid hive fleet consists of millions of vessels. What if Behemoth and Kraken were but the first members of a swarm of such fleets, itself numbering millions, which even now is advancing on our galaxy?"
" Nothing the Imperium can do could stop such a horde. It would leave behind it a dead galaxy, every trace of life extinguished. Even the Chaos realm would be gone."

Drang fears a super-hive fleet of trillions of ships, which he says nothing in the galaxy could withstand. This also suggests the book is taking place well after M41, since the Tyranids are a relatively recent threat (centuries) This however causes some rather significant problems as far as continuity goes with all the other bits (using Space Fleet and Chaos only BFG ships for example.) It also suggests hive fleets of millions is rather common, although we know Behemoth was a mere thousands.

Page 96
The cutlasses were vibroblades, an obsolete type of weapon but still used for duelling. Drang waited for Invisticone to switch on his cutlass’s power and make it sing, so that even a modest gash could prove fatal.

Part of me wonders if chainswords are supposed to be an enhanced form of Vibroweapon.. perhaps the chainsaw blades not only rotate, but vibrate as well.

Page 96

"Are you sure that does not give you an unfair advantage, brother commander?" [of the monocle Drang wears]

"Only if we were battling at a distance of half a light year, which I trust will never happen."

Implies that it is possible for Imperial ships to duel in some way over half a light year. Possibly some form of warp torpedo (which we know has existed, albeit being rare. We know Titans carry a warp missile after all.) Space fleet did imply multi parsec bombardment missiles and other sources have mentioned "psychoportive" weapons systems.

On the other hand its possible they were just joking before the duel. It's hard to say, but it is quite likely it was a joke.

Page 97
Then, for what must have been no more than a tenth of a second, he found an opening. His aching muscles sent the heavy cutlass flickering like a snake's tongue before it was delfected in a clash of ringing steel.

Drang (and invisticone) have reaction times in the tenth of a second range, which is many times faster than modern people (quarter of a second being fast for a human IIRC.) and Dragn and the others are clearly tired by this oint. Another indicator that at least some humans in the Imperium have "above normal" reflexes compared to real life people (just as some are abnormally strong or tough compared to real life folk. rampant mutation can do that)

Page 100

And indeed the Wandering Star's inertial integrity field, neccessary in any spaceship to protect crew and passengers from lethal accelerations and changes in direction, were having trouble coping.

EG inertial damping field.

Page 101
They had materialized inside th thick dust cloud on the edge of the Eye. That was the cause of the rustling they could hear. Their manic warp speed had translated itself into a realspace velocity that was a solid fraction fo the speed of light. The dust was impacting on the hull, racing over it as if the ship was flying through a sandstorm.

Abrading the adamanitum shell, wearing it away. Dust bullets, given extra mass by reason of the relativistic effect, punching their way through the outer shielding, which was worn and weakened by age and use anyway.

Implying that the Wandering STar is traveling at a good fraction of c, through a dust cloud, which is abrading a weakened, civilian hull. Oddly the magic "mass lightening" effect isn't reduing this effect (mentioned later) which may suggest it only works inside the atmosphere, or that it may not reduce mass (we dont really know HOW it works, after all.)

Page 101
The inertial integrity trembled. Rugolo hollared as they felt the ship tumble over and over, though in fact the real rate of tumble was probably hundreds or even thousands of times a second.

Considering the ship is some 30 metres tall this probably means its rotational velocity is quite fast - mayhap hundreds or even thousands of kilometres per second at eithe rend of the ship.

Page 103
Scatered through the vastness, vanishing into immense distances, were what appeared to be dark curving chasms, holes of negative existence. He undersood these to be stars togehter with their attendant planetary systems, island of matter surrounded by gravity wells, places where - int he normal galaxy outside the Eye of Terror, at any rate - the warp drive would not work, and daemons could not direclty manifest themselves.

The Navigator Calliden's POV from the warp. He sees (or thinks he can see) systems in realspace via their gravitational effects on the warp. This implies gravity interacts with the warp in some way, and (as other sources have indicated) can interfere with the entry and exit from warpspace. (meaning that technologies like interdictors could probably fuck with warp drives too)

This does create certain problems though. If navigators could see systems from the warp, why is navigation considered so problematic or unrelaible? Why is mapping and routes so important - or the astronomican for that matter? It may not be precise, but Navigators could still steer for at least the nearest system of gravity they could find, at least.

The other obvious problem is that it implies gravity wells make it hard for daemons to manifest, yet we know they can manifest easily in places where even Starship drives still can't reach (EG on planets) What's more, they can do it on a massive scale (far more massive than starships.)

Page 105

Calliden glanced at the detector displays, at the gravitic entabulator, the radiation entabulator, the visual display, all set in their ornately engraved oval brass frames.

- the Star has gravitic, visual, and radiation sensors.

Page 105
It looked as though the warp current was going to smash into the planet. And the Wandering Star would not be far behind! It didn’t make sense. The warp drive shouldn’t work this far inside a gravity well. For that matter, a warp torrent shouldn’t be able to flow through it, either.

Implies that gravity of a solar system has an influence on the path of warp currents, at least up to a certain size/strength.

Page 105 - the Warp is stated to have eight dimensions, while in the Eye of terror (Warp + realspace) it has twelve. The twelve dimensions is noted to be "
impossible" for a Navigator.

As we know from WHF, "eight" is a number of mystical significance to Chaos.

Page 106

Calliden was astounded. How could the ship have decelerated sufficiently to negotiate the atmosphere in so short a distance? It should have fallen like a flaming meteor and ploughed into the surface in seconds, its exploding engine creating a crater miles across.

A multi-megaotn crater. I'm guessing he wonders how it could decelerate so rapidly (matter of seconds by context, as they were fearing an immediate crash into the planet ) suggestint accelerations in the high hundreds/low thousands of gees is impossible, at least for Rugolo's ship.

Page 108 - the Eye of Terror dates back to the 25th millenium, "no earlier". I dont know how this meshes up with things, althogh I'm pretty sure that is much too early for the Fall of the Eldar.

Page 108-109
. When he returned, it was to show that he had been to the ship’s armoury cupboard. He was carrying two small laspistols, not military issue but manufactured for civilian use, with mother-of-pearl handgrips and damascened barrels.

It's also mentioned they are fully charged.

Page 111- int he EoT it is said that piolts navigate by "faith" - the warp responding to the pilot's emotions and wishes and guiding them. Makes sense insofar as what we know of the Warp, although it is likely to be unpredictable and dangeorus, since emotions are not exactly logical, reasonable, or controllable.

Page 112

Page 112-113
Aegelica too gave a trilling laugh as she stepped gracefully forward, easing Foafoa aside merely by brushing her hand on his bicep
Calliden reached for his weapon, but in a single swift bound Foafoa was behind him, ,clamping his arms in big, strong hands.

Mostly just a setting shot. It's mainly to establish positioning of people for what is about to happen next.

Page 116
Calliden came out of his mad, erotic trance. He plunged his hand inside his black tunic, noticing for the first time that it was wet through. Out came the laspistol. Calliden was unused to wielding weapons. It took him a moment or two to wrap his fist around the handgrip, release the safety, aim, and press the firing stud.

Steam bubbled all along the length of the laser beam as it hissed through the water. But it failed to reach Aegelica. Instead, it struck a fish, nearly a yard long, which at that moment had glided between them. The fish exploded as the water in its body turned to steam. Fragments of flesh, skin, and bone drifted to the sea bed.

The exact distancec between the target and the gun is not known, however, it is mentioned earlier that a man (FoaFoa) near the woman had to restrain Calliden. I'd say about a metre or two distance at least, which meshes with the idea of the fish between Calliden and his target.

There are of course several ways to calc this.

The portion of the mass and water vaporized. We know at least a metre of water was boiled/evaporated along the path of the beam, and we know lasgun diameters range from 5 mm (Only in Death) to several cm (such as Cadian blood mentioning finger-thick lasbeams)

Assuming it punches a 5-10 cm diameter explosion in the fish (vaporizing the water in that volume in its body enough to penetrate from one side to the other) it might take between 90 and 750 kilojoules. Probably leaning more towards the lower half of that value, and if it is more a "blaster' type (pulse train of explosive vaporizations like Luke Campbell describes) the energy figure could drop even more (as much as an OoM or so I figure, so single to double digit kj). Vaporizing a few cm diameter is much more modest - around 10-20 kilojoules.

There is also the aformentioned "path of the beam. for a 5mm beam about ~20 grams of water (to a distance of 1 metre) would be boiled/vaporized, while a 2 cm beam would mean some 314 grams of water was boiled/vaporized to a distance of one metre. a 5mm beam would need 7-8 kilojoule sto boil, and 50 kilojoules to evaporrate, and a 2cm beam boiling would be at least 100 kilojoules, while vaporizing could be up to 750-800 kilojoules.

Blowing apart a metre long fish probably means putting a hole wide enough to sever it in two. I assume its eight is a fraction of its length (Say 1/5 or 1/6) which menas putting a 15-20 cm size hole in and through it - or in other words, blowing a head sized wound into it. Double digit, even single digit, kilojoules shoudl quite easily handle that, although I'm not sure of the efficiency of the las pistols in question (They're creating steam explosions after all.)

There is of course the literal "entire fish vaporized" quote but i won't try that. :P

Whether or not their being civilina models means that military ones are more powerful is also up for debate. After all IRL military handguns are no tnecesarily more powerful than RL handguns, though its not an unreasonable supposition.

There's also the possibility that the calc is skewed because it takes place on a chaos-steeped world in the eye of terror (people are breathing underwater after all.) But the properties of the water and the fish seem to behave as people expect them to (aside from certain conveniences like breathing underwtaer, which, strictly speaking, is not IMPOSSIBLE for a person to do if they had the right equipment...) but it does complicate things.

Overall though, single to double digit kj doesn't seem too improbable for a pistol, and at a sufficiently high setting triple digit KJ (at least 100 kj or so) is not impossible either given what we've known (even laspistols can blow apart torsos after all - at least on high settings.)

Page 116
He seemed not to move, but suddenly a weapon was in his hand, buzzing savagely. It was a shorter version of a chainsword- a chainknife, as long as a butcher's cleaver, and calliden immediately imagined its teeth ripping through his flesh.

Chain knife. For close in chainsaw work.

Page 117
It had a fat barrel, a cylindrical fuel flask, and a shoulder stock as well as a handgrip, although Kwyler was ignoring that and wileded the gun like an ordinary sidearm.

Flung aside by Aegelica, ,Rugolo lay sprawling and groaning. With a look of glee Aegelica whirled to face Kwyler, her wide saucer eyes staring, her transformed limbs thrown apart as if in welcome. Calliden was not sure he had identified Kwyler's gun correctly, until there came a vivid flash and a brilliant gout of energy brighter than any flame, and water boiled so furiously that the scene was near to being obscured until the roiling bubbles lifted themselves towards the overhead surface. It was a melta gun, also known as a fusion gun or a cooker, far more awesome than an ordinary flamer, firing a short-distance blast of sub-molecular thermla energy.

Aegelica took the blast full on. As it engulfed her she gave vent to an ululating soprano scream that went rising and warbling in a prolonged aria, a celebration of pain and delight and shock and graification. She should not have been able to utter any sound at all. She should instantly have been reduced to molten slag and steaming vapour.

Possibly the only single-handed meltagun that isnt an inferno pistol in 40K fiction.

Unsurprisingly the meltagun should be boiling a much larger volume of water, but we can't really figure it since we have no accurate idea of beam diameter, other than by what is described and even a narrow metla beam should be at least in the single digit MJ range, if not higher (probably higher)

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-11-21 04:52pm

Next EoT update. Then one more and then I'm done with that. And then we'll see what I do next.

Page 120
Had Gundrum's ship been a crude planet-to planet vessel, relying solely on a reaction motor, nothing could have saved them from its exhaust as it took off. But it was not. Like every other intestellar craft its mass was reduced by controlled inertial fields. An incongruously small thrust was enough to lift it off an Earth-sized planet.

The infamous "mass lightening" scene. This little tidbit has been utilized to justify all manner of abusrd claims, up to and including things like "mass lightened nova cannon rounds" thta weigh as little as 35 kg (and no I'm not kidding about that.) The logical absurdity of that idea (when we have seen how macro cannon, nevermind nova cannon, reloading goes) should not be something I have to belabour. But it's also been claimed they use this for interplanetary thrust as well, which is slightly less absurd. There are problems with that. I could go on about the various cases of inertia and turning 40K ships, collisions, ramming incidents, cases where ships ramming into planets at full speed having globally catastrophic effects (CF Grey Knights) etc. There's the fact mass lightened ships are not sent flying about wildly by firing the recoil of their weapons (including said Nova cannon.)

I could also point out that every known example of supposed "mass lightening" tech (either mentioned in space fleet, or like the repulsor sword in Soul drinkers that uses suspensors) does not literally reduce mass, but offers some sort of lift (EG the suspensor sword.) But I don't really need to do that either.

All that has to be noted is.. we dont know enough about how the device works to speculate. Just because it reduces mass does not mean that it works like supposed Star Trek AMRE type mass lightening, because other universes have their own "mass lightening" which works differently. There is also the fact that mass lightening runs into the problem of enabling perpetual motion machines. There simply isn't enough data to speculate on, and certianly not enough to decide that it magically makes a gigantic fraction of the ship's mass vanish, or that it even works out in space, All we know is that it involves "controlled inertial fields" and it enables a ship to lift off from a planet with minimal thrust - which is something that a suspensor-based antigravity device could quite eaisly do, and would mesh with the early mentions of "inerital integrity fields" which provided compensation for acceleration and manuvers (and are also likely to be a form of artifical gravity.) This interpretaton also fits with what little is known about possible "mass lightening" tech in 40K.

Lastly I would also point out that "mass was reduced" is not a very precise term, as far as terminology goes. There are different kinds of mass (inertial mass, gravitational mass, etc.) and the quote could apply quite easily to either one.

Page 126 - "thousands" of Worlds in the Eye minimum, or at least in the region they're passing through (deep inside the Eye AtM)

Page 127 - "bilions strong" Imperial Guard

Page 127 - SPace Marines having lifetimes measured in centruies.

Page 127-128
There was something like a million worlds in the Imperium. In all, there wer eonly about a million Space Marines too, organised into around a thousand chapters of a thousand warriors each.
One Space Marine per planet.

A rather precise figure for both number of worlds and MArines, given that neither territory or Chapter numbers/sizes are actually that well known.

PAge 128

The First Founding had produced even tougher warriors than those of the present-day. Their seed-genes had come directly from the original Primarchs, the laboratory created progenitors of all Space Marines past and present.[

This implies that Pre-Heresy/Heresy era space Marines were inherently superior to "modern day" Space Marines... although in practice we have noted little difference between traitor Marines and CSMs (even mutated ones) and modern day marines, save the modern ones have some better equipment.

Page 128
There was a reason why the present-day Marine chapters were limited in size. It was to prevent the possibility of their turning on the Imperium itself. The First Founding had been far more numerous, organised into entire legions. Inevitably this had ended in a huge civil war, in which legion fought legion, tearing the Imperium apart.

- the First founding of Space Marines had been more numerous (supposedly) than the current generation. This is not unreaosnable, various sources have hinted at bigger numbers for the pre-Heresy/Heresy era forces, and the fact they split in half alone suggests approximately 2 million existed prior to the Heresy.

Page 128
The Imperium was the greatest example of large-scale organisation the galaxy had ever seen — thank the Emperor! What was the point of such organisation if it was not put to some use? Why have fleets of battleships and destroyers, why have gigantic armies, why have the greatest armoury ever to be assembled, and then do nothing with it all? The urge to engage in full-scale conflict must have been irresistible.

This quote is interesting in that it suggests the Imperium has massive garrisons/reserves/stockiples of men, ships and material just lying around and not doing much as far as waging war goes. Which goes hand in hand with the idea of "thousands" or "hundreds of thousands" of conflicts out of a million (or millions of worlds) suggesting the majority of those worlds remain untouched.

Page 129

He had claimed to be able to see half a light-year away through it [monocle], in present time, not taking into account the passage of light itself, and that was true.

More on Drang's magic monocle device.

Page 132
In a musical voice, she spoke. “Not polymorphine, my lord commander. Something much simpler. A holographic image, that is all. Quite sufficient for a temporary disguise.”

She tapped a tiny medallion on her chest: a holographic projector.

- Callidus assassins can make use of holographic disguises as well as polymorphine.

Page 132 - mention of Venenum and Eversor Temples of Assassins, in the context had the visitor been of either of those Temples Drang would already be dead.

Page 136
The order given Magron could mean anything: the barge was being boarded, they were to board an enemy space vessel, or they were being sent down to the interstellar planetoid that was under attack. If the last, then the earlier laser bombardment had failed to destroy the rebel base.

We learn more details about the base later, but its worth noting that they intended for the laser bombardment being initiated by Imperial forces was intended to destroy the base.

The barge incidentally is a hastily converted freighter with apparently a large number of powerufl laser turrets tacked on.

Page 137
It was but a matter of a minute to insert himself into such [power] armour.

Rather fast prepartion, compared to other cases of Space Marines donning armor. It also tends to be more ritual.

Page 137
These were the new Mark Four suits or "Imperial Maximus" suits, ,a considerable improvement over the standard Mark Threes, using lighter, harder material. It was the first power armour in which the helmet actually moved with the wearer's head.

A reference ot the various "Marks" of power armour described in vary places.

Page 137
literally an army, since fifty Spacec Marines was worth a regiment of ordinary soldiers.

A "company" of space marines, as defined in this book. Depending on the size of a regiment (say 2-6 thousand this could mean a marine is worth 40 to 120 men.)

Page 138
...blotting out a patch of that light was a planetoid about the size of Jupiter's small inner moon, Io.

The planetoid base is the size of Io.

Page 138

- The World Eaters had excavated a fortress deep within the moon.

Page 138-139
A battleship, three cruisers, and any number of improvised spacecraft had formed a staggered crescent around one half of the ancient planetoid and were sending massed laser fire slicing into its surface. Nothing else would have sufficed for the task, thermonuclear bombardment would no more than have dented the blacked-out landscape. Only high-density lasers carried neough energy to dig through the planetary crust and penetrate the mantle beneath, carving up the little world as if it were a ripe melon.

The battleship -recommissioned as the Imperial Vengeance - was at the ceentre of the crescent, a huge cathedral-like form shrouded in itnricately worked turrets. Most of the planetoid's defence lasers must have been put out of action in the first salvo; only a few brilliant beams still stabbed upward from their armoured keeps, wavering to and fro in search of targets. Just the same, ,the scratch fleet's commander had miscalculated, for the battle crescent was already being broken up, under attack frrom another quarter. Round from the other side of the planetoid, ascending from wwhat must have been subterranean hangars secretly excavated, had come a fleet of heretic ships the Imperial planners had surely believed were elsewhere!

Now the two forces were manoeuvring, the Imperial fleet forced to defend itself even while keeping up the laser bombardment of the minor world below. Plasma drivers ripped through the ether, ,tearing ships apart. The vast bulk of the [i]Imperial Vengeance
hove close by, blotting out the stars, a gargantuan turreted shape gouting plasma as well as planet-targeted lasers, smaller rebel ships gathering round it like sharks round a whale, while in its shadow the battle-barge seemed no more than a beetle.

The cloaked lieutenant was ignoring the bulking, blazing battleship, the flashes of battle visible over a range of thousands of miles. He was pointing down towards the World EAter planetoid. Brother Seargent Magrgon switched to visor magnification and directed his gaze likewise.

Combat assault craft, small lumpy images even at maxmag, were rising from the surface of the plnaetoid. World Eater Space Marines, ready to take on even a battleship in close order combat.

Descirption of the bombardment of the Io-sized moon - a battleship and 3 cruisers and vriaous escorts. They are using lasers alone to bombard the surface, ostensibly because the lasers are intense enough to have penetration (whatever nukes they have cannot efficiently penetrate down to the surface.) - they must not have enough to blow off the surface of the moont o reach the core.

Why they don't use plasma weapons too, we dont know - maybe the plasma weapons lack penetraton as well -plasma weapons in 40k tend to act pretty odd.

Page 140
Rocket-rafts shot out from the deck nacelles, making for the assault pods which were climbing up from the planetoid and bearing on the battleship. Spotting their approach, the pods changed course and jetted to meet them.


Once the great battleship had dwindled there was a sense of coldness and desolation, as though they wer in the midst of a vast undiscovered cave.


Sergeant Magron was aware of this utter bleakness in the brief period while the assautl craft approached one another - then it was gone.

They wre three on three: three rocket raft and three carrier ascent pods capable of climbing up a modest gravity well such as might be possessed by a moon or an asteroid.


Rafts and pods collided with a crunch and went spinning through space jammed together.

The ascent pods differed from the rafts only in having a more powerful engine and protective cowl at the front.

The chariots upon which this space based melee are engaging.

Page 141

Neither side was equipped with suit jets. Each warrior had to find a foothold amid the tangled remains of the carrier assault craft to avoid being knocked into space by an exploding or ricocheting bolter shell, and could advance or retreat only with caution.

The World Eaters were mostly encased in the old Mark Two power armour, , more likely to be ruptured by a bolter round or opened at the joints by a chainsword.

The opposition.

Page 141
Armour cracked and opened, allowing the entry of the next bolter round which would turn the suit into a container of bloody mush.

Implying that a single bolt wound detonating inside the suit might not damag ethe suit, but obliterate the occupant totally. Grenade level damage of some kind.

Page 141
He switched to rapid fire and aimed a barrage of bolts at the offending bonded ceramite, even though it was the strongest part of the traitor's armour. So conerted was this shock-train of explosives that th eWorld Eater sergeant was propelled backwards and lost his foothold on the wreckage of the assault pod. But before he could be thrown out of reach of any solid object he had recovered himself, seizing an upright grgip-rod.

Barrage of bolter explosions provide significant backwards momentum to World Eater in his armour.

Page 142
It was as though some sorcerous mystical influence protected their exposed heads...


while the World Eaters, daring their enemy to kill them if they could, ,adroitly dodged bolter shells and turned aside chainswords.

World Eaters are so hardcore they have some magic (although they dont think of it as such I bet) protecting their bare heads from the vaccuum. They also have tremenodus skill in dodging attacks.

Page 143

He had tested the Mark Four's capabilities in the last few minutes, and had learned much.

World Eater sergeant has been engaged iwth the Dark Angels Space Marines at this point for "a few minutes." This meshes pretty well considering that they haven't run out of ammo yet (an astartes IIRC carries a few hundred rounds of ammo for his gun, tops.)

Page 143
It was at that moment that Magron had noticed something happening on the planetoid below. A glow was emanating from it, becoming brighter and brigher.

Despite the raging space battle ranging over the planetoid, the Imperial task force had managed to sustain the laser barrage. Now it was working, and what was more, it was working better than its directors had planned. The beams had scythed through the planet, had cut aside the crust and delved deep into the mantle in search of the deep keeps. And now, what had not been intended - they had penetrated to the hot liquid metal core of the planet.

The little world was not like other planets and moons. It was alone, lacking a parent sun or brother worlds to flex it with gravitational tidal forces. So it had never been tempered by a dynamic enviroment. It had never been forced to settle and cool into long-term stability. Now it was paying the price for its aeons-long inertness. The pent-up power of the core, which had lain quiet for so long, encased in its thick shell of rock, was roused. It seethed and moved. And it had more than its own energy now. The high-density lasers had added theirs to it, ,turning it into a bomb.

Already partly disintegrated by the barrage, the planet exploded.

It all happened tremendously fast. The core glowed and swelled, lighting up the darkness, demolishing the crust and mantle and hurling their fragments outwards mingled with spray and streams of flaming, molten iron, a vast outpouring of high-velocity matter and total destruction.

This is where things get.. interesting and confusing calc wise. We know what the target is size and nature wise - blowing up an io-like moon requires something on the order of 2e29 joules (might be more or less depending on inefficiencies, the velocity of the debris, the exact composition, and so on. debris velocity is likely to be the most significant modifier - see below.)

The obvious problem is, however - planets do not explode like bombs, and you cannot dump huge quantities of energy into them. If the bombardment is short enough in duration (EG minutes, or perhaps hours) and if the planetary base carried significant defenses even deep underground (like shielding - which is likely since this is a Space Marine base) the effects may have been delayed or "confined." (sort of like how planetary shields affect the destruction of Alderaan and the Death Star)

The obvious objections to this will be: a.) the exact timeframe is not specified, b.) There was something weird about the planet that made it blow up (EG Nostramo) or c.) the World Eaters had some sort of powerful, yet volatile reactor set up that contributed to the explosion. All three are actually valid complaints. The timeframe is not specific, yet there are details suggesting a very short timeframe. By the time Magron deploys (As one of my quotes indicates) the Word Bearers had just been deploying their own fleet and troops in defence of the planetoid. Logically they would have begun doing so the minute the bombardment began, and it might reasonably take minutes or hours, but certainly less than a week, for the fleet to prepare and deploy - especially since the planetary defenses had been shot away early on. In any case even if it had taken longer than that, beyond a couple of weeks (or even a month) is impossible as that eats into the maximum KNOWN combat reserves of a starship (which actually suggests days or hours as an upper limit, unless the ships were operating at less than maximum combat performance) - so either way, days at most, and more likely hours or minutes, is the timeframe (especially if we assume the ships were operating at close to maximum operating power, which I am.)

B.) is a bit trickier. There are examples of planets that had some peculiar property (Nostramo or one story that had some weird volatile naturally occuring nuclear fuel in the HH novels) - the passage certainly implies a "bomb like" quality to it as well, so it could fit... except that, like iwth the mass lightening, tehre's nothing really explicitly pointing to that. C.) is actually more plausible in this regard, since we have quite a few examples of planets getting destroyed by a planetary power grid going off or being deliberately set off (St Josemane's hope, Piscinia IV, etc.)

There is also quite simply the point that it is absurd to completely ignore the context of the quote - they blast away a substnatial portion of the crust, if not the mantle, of the moon over much of the facing hemisphere while hunting the base. They are explicilty stated for having to have blown the planet apart by adding enough energy to the core to cause it to blow apart (logically, they dump enough energy into it to vaporize the core explosively- if superheating manages to occur inside the core to some degree it may delay the explosive effect enough to dump energy into the planet. Other factors like shielding and such could contribute.)

Let's say they only contributed a tiny fraction of the energy involved to the bombardment (say 1/1000th - which might easily cover blowing off the crust and mantle to reach the core). Let's say they had 100 ships all equal to the single battleship (even though the only stated capital ships were 1 battleship and 3 cruisers, all the rest are escorts, transports, etc.) Let's also assume it takes about full month to do this as well. Allowing for ALL of that, we get somewhere in the e18-e19 watt range PER ship - or high MT/low GT per sec per ship. Which sounds unimpressive compared to what happened, but you have to remember that only the lasers (not other weapons) are bombarding, we're assuming there are far more ships there than there are (and that they are all equal to a battleship, when it is more likely this would be treating the battleship as an escort!) and ignoring variables that could increase the yield (inefficiencies, a higher escape velocity for the debirs, etc.)

Nonetheless I'm sure some will argue or rant becuase of the potential for the GIGATONS or TERATONS (or higher) this might indicate. Me, I'll treat it as simply proof of what we already know from other stuff, which is that 40K ships are capable of outputting gigatons or teratons of firepower if need be.

Also a minor note, the world Eaters had a base buried somewhere in the mantle of the moon.

Page 144
The first wave of that explosion began to reach them, the smaller fragments, teh gravel, the tiny shards of rock, that had been flung outward at higher velocity than the more massive pieces of the disintegrated world. It was a preliminary warning of the greater flood of stone and metal that was coming.


Then a rock the size of his fist took off the World Eater's head.

Similar missiles were slamming into the assault carriers, wrecking them completely, shoving them back towards the World Eater's original dsestination, the Imperial Vengeance.

Marines of both Chapters wer ecrushed as high velocity rocks smashed into them, cracking open their armour, flinging them into space broken and crippled.

Implies that the velocity of the debris was considerably higher - possibly on the order of tens of km/s to reach the marines in such short order, if not faster (remember the "thousands of miles" bit)

Page 145
Aghast, Sergeant Magron watched as a huge chunk of black basalt, as big as the Imperial Vengeance itself, struck the task force's turret-encrusted capital ship. The impact shattered them both. Fractured adamantium, twisted metal, broken rock and superheated steam receded into the darkness in a writhing turmoil.

Something crashed into the assault craft and carried it away into the darkness too, away from the great torrent of debris that smashed both spacefleets to nothing. Had sergeant Magron not been a Space Marine, the initial impact might have kileld him instantly, but he was a Space Marine, with his specially hardened body.

Again the debris from the destroyed moon seems to reach the task force (including the ships) in very short order, across hundreds if not thousands of km.

Page 145
He was adrift in space, with no other human being within ten light years.

They were in the middle of a poitn between several systems, suggesting the planets the base could reach were within ten LY. That's roughly consistent with the average distance between systems inside a sector/subsector.

Page 147 - the Warp is described sas being substancee of "thought, emotion, intention, disembodied consciousness."

Page 147
. The non-physical Immaterium and the physical Materium had a terrible hunger for one another, every physical being longed for the freedom and ecstasy of the unfettered spirit. Every spiritual being craved after a physical existence so as to fully realise itself. Some cosmic law kept the two apart.Yet it was possible - it would be possible - for them to combine in some monstrous new birth. Only the fact that there existed in the physical realm a god as powerful as the Chaos Gods prevented their joyous victory.
Two wars lay ahead. One was to defeat the God of the material galaxy who kept the Ruinous Powers at bay. After that would come a greater war: the Great War to decide which of the Chaos Gods was to rule the Materium!

the GEoM is refererd to as the "God of the mateerial galaxy" and is implied to be keeping the Chaos Gods from invading the material realm and turning it to Chaos and the Chaos Gods from fithing over who would rule.

Page 150
The two great daemons flew through entire star clusters which for the moment were smaller than they were. They adjusted their size, dwindling as they approached their destinations.

- Greater Daemons (at least in the Eye) are not restricted by size/mass- they can change that at will.

Page 150
They moved those planets away from their warming suns - it did not matter, the planets did not freeze; instead their atmoshperes were heated by friction as they moved through the ether-like warpspace/realspace overlap.

Yet more interesting aspects of the pecuiliar nature in the Eye of Terror - Daemons can move planets around at will, and they can be heated by alternate means and still (apparently) sustain life (and not be wiped out by friction)

Page 151
They brought the planets close together and drew out from the surface of each a long tongue or causeway so that they met and welded together. Here, then, was the field of battle: a verdant bridge between two worlds, lit by a glowing sky, blasted by hot winds, crackling with incessant lightning.
And on each of these worlds the war hosts were already assembled.

Officered by daemon princes, its leading standard bearing the Eye of Tzeentch, raising aloft every magical emblem, herded by Chaos champions, half the population of the world belonging to the Chi’khami’tzann Tsunoi, armed and trained, mutated into their war roles, proceeded forth on to the battle-bridge.

Officered by daemon princes, its leading standard bearing the crossed-bars emblem of Khorne, skull-filled banners dripping blood, herded by Chaos Champions, half the population of the world belonging to the Khak’akaoz’khyshk’akami, armed and trained, mutated or else mutilated into their battle roles, proceeded likewise.

- Half the populations on each world are changed/mutated/trained in a very rapid time for a battle by the Greater Daemons of Khorne and Tzeentch. Gotta love wht whimsical yet dangerous nature of the Eye. Although the training doesnt seem to be anything very specific or specialized, all they need to do is fight and die for Chaos.

Page 151 - War hosts of "millions" met, and half a million in each army were trampled underfoot by their own armies in an effort to engage the enemy. Populations in the Eye seem to be able to range in the millions range. At least thousands of planets in the Eye suggests a population on the order of billions, if not tens or hundreds of billions. Possibly more. (but still smaller than the Imperium.)

Page 151 - 3 million dead within the hour.

PAge 152

By now fifty million or more had died, two thirds of them of Khorne, a hundred million more left for dead.

150 million total casualties I'd guess and possibly not everyone died) 75 million per planet on either side at least. Close to a trillion total estimated population in the Eye assuming 10K planets and the populations stay roughly constant.

Page 154
Twelve vast pits or funnels floated in space, arranged raidally like the spokes of a wheel, mouths facing inwards to the hub. Every pit was planet-sized: five thousand miles across at the mouth, ,fifteen thousand miles deep, extending inot the darkness.


Weapons by the billions, as well as armour. Swords, hammers, spears, pikes, war-scythes, war chariots, motorised armoured vehicles, bolt guns, flamers, ,plasma weapons artillery spaceships, attack aircraft, all the arcane, semi-magical weapons used within the eye of Terror, lasguns, dirks, daemon-guided missiles, all drifting and spreading inot the darkness of unlighted spacee.

The Khak'akaoz'khyshk'akami's forge worlds. As befitted bloodthirster crudity, they churned out stupendous quantities of armament willy-nilly, without regard for requirement, collection or logistics. Nearly all of it would drift off into space and be lost. But more would always be there, if the yshould be needed.

Forge "hell worlds" - constructed in a way that would not have been possible elsewhere in the galaxy the novel claims. They seem to work pretty much as needed, and without regard to any sort of pattern or logic - this apparentyl doesnt matter, as it implies they never run out of resources (for whatever reason that is - it may be that the weapons are made of temporary, warp-forged matter, or that it is made of realspace matter that inevitably gets recycled in some manner.)

Note the reference to semi-magical weapons and "daemon guided"missiles.

Page 154
The toiling millions — or perhaps billions; they had never been counted, the individual worth nothing — laboured on the inside surface amid seething seas and torrents consisting of boiling blood and molten sulphur.

- claimed toiling "millions" or "billions" inside the Forge worlds (hell) Some populations are obviously denser :)

Page 156
A dozen times they alighted so the Feathered Lord could be shown examples of foundries, rolling mills, factories and workshops. The naked slaves — they weren’t allowed clothing, protective or otherwise — made terrified obeisance when the greater daemon appeared. Sometimes the Feathered Lord was displeased and ordered entire continents scorched. Becoming a little anxious at this, the princely supervisor of the hell-world proudly showed him the punishment pits, where those who failed to meet their production quotas were put to endless torment — by burning, by racking, by the slow slicing of internal organs — in the huge torture dungeons

- the slaves workign the forge worlds are naked- no protective clothing or otherwise, ans safety precautions are nonexitent. Punishment/torture is the price for not meeting production quotas.

Page 156-157
Tell me why you want these worlds of mine. Is it true what you told me? That you have found a way to create matter?” “My great invention! Am I not the Great Inventor?” The Chi’khami’tzann Tsunoi could not resist the boast. The name given him by his fellow daemons was well deserved.
“I CAN MAKE MATTER!” The Bloodthirster responded with a doubtful growl. “Let me see this marvel.”

- the Tzeentch Greater Daemon claims to now be able to "make matter" - a feat that is considered apparently impossible prior to this point. Daemons do not "create" matter when they burst forth into the material universe (or apparently create it in the warp, either) they "borrow" matter (bodies, etc) to allow them to manifest.

On the other hand, (and as we will discoverE) there's a difference between permanant and temporary matter. Perhaps the significance is that the Great Inventor claims he can make permanant, stable warp matter rather than temporary shit that fades away. After all, the Eldar make Wraithbone, and spirit stones are naturally occuring.

The Feathered Lord held out a talon. He murmured words of power, deep magic. His mind became still as ice, calling on the multi-layered spells nested and imprinted in the warp, beyond mortal comprhension. Spells that had taken millenia to form.

"When we materialise in the Materium, or even in the Door, we must borrow the matter to do it, and that is hard." he clucked softly. "That is all our difficulty. That is why we cannot burst into the Mateirum and mould it to our will! But this is not borrowed matter. This is new."

This implies that they need solid matter to give them shape-form, rather than creating it themselves. Which goes a long way to explaining the Importance of possession.

Again we know the Eldar can do it - it is rather interesting and surprising Daemons cannot do this this already.

Page 158
The Imperial Record had no figure for how many nullships had been sent into the Eye of Terror during the last fifteen millennia, but the number certainly amounted to several thousand. It did, however, say how many had come back out: no more than one hundred and ninety-eight. Even this was inexact, for some expeditions, such as that organised recently by Technomage Ipsissimus, had been mounted in the utmost secrecy and were never registered in the archives.

In all that time, the surviving probes had succeeded but sketchily in their chief task, that of charting star formations within the Eye, altered beyond recognition as they were since the day when the warp had exploded into realspace. The incomplete charts which had been built up had never been made available to the houses of the Navis Nobilite. They were accessible only to the Inquisition’s innermost daemon-hunting arm, totally unknown to society at large and calling itself the Ordo Malleus, and to the secret offices of the Naval Segmentae.

- Imperial records dont know how many nullships have been sent into the Eye of Terror over the last fifteen millenia, but the estimate stands at at least several thousand (not including secret projects.) Of that, only one hundred and ninety eight have returned (and even that number is inexact.)

These ships are tasked chiefly with charting the systems within the eye, and their changes sincee it was created. The resulting charts have never been handed over to the Navigator houses, but rather kept under the control of the Ordo Malleus (back when there wa sonly the Inquisition and the "secet" Ordo, rather than the 3 ordos nowadays) and to the "secret offices" of the Naval Segmentae.

PAge 159-160 - Navigation in the Eye, as mentioned before, is accomplished through "Faith" - or rather, the response to psychic forces.

Page 160 - the meltagun from before that Kwyler used is now referred to here as a "plasma gun." wish they'd make up their mind.

Page 161
Navigation in the warp was an act of faith, even with the Astronomican.

Unsurprising, but I wonder if it applies to all Navigators.

Page 162
Formerly he had always associated this with faith in the Emperor, which was every navigator's creed. But there was something more. something internal to the individual. A sort of confidence that he could succeed.

Again what we know of the warp, this makes sense.

Page 162
The navigator gene did more than give one warp vision. Its other gift was second-guessing, an instinct for how to go from here to there in the shortest time. It would surprise many, Calliden reflected, to learn to what degree the traffic of the mighty Imperium depended on this instinct.

Page 162 - Warp engines are the most depndable and solidly designed/tested piece of wequipment in the Imperium. It was almost unheared of for one to fail.

Page 162
At realspace velocity it would take us thousands of years to reach even the nearest star.

At sublight in other words.

Page 163
There was no sense of acceleration in the little cabin. The ship's own internal field was easily able to handle realspace forces of that kind. The three men each kept his eyes on the velocity tabulator.

It had two readings: one in miles per hour, and one, ,rarely referred to, in fractions of the velocity of light.

Interesting they use two different velocity figures. Also that they use miles instead of km.

PAge 164 - doing "warp speed in realspace" in the Eye, due to the warp/realspace interaction. This is noted to be a recent and probably temporary phenomenon, present only in a localized manner within the Eye (a certain piece of it.)

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-11-21 05:17pm

Oh and as an appendix to the mass lightening.. there are certain problems with using it in combat:

Battlefleet Gothic wrote:the forty men pulled harder at the traversing chains, heaving the massive barrel of the macro-cannon into position amidst the clank-clank-clank of rusty gears.
"Avats heaving! stand by for reloading" ordered Murman and the men dropped the chains and hurried to stand by the gun's huge breech. At the signal from the Gun Captain, ten of the men sprang into action, pushing the breech-block. When it was open, the others bent their backs to the loading winch, ,lowering the shell, which weighed several tons, into the heart of the cannon. With a deafening clang the breech was closed again.

Now, a 2-3 ton shell would be roughly analgous to a 16-18" naval cannon shell in mass. there are some images here and [ur=http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4087/5169337097_ac2af60e01.jpg]here[/url] of 16 inch guns, and one here of the yamato's 18 inch gun.

18 inch projectile weights can be found here, here, here and here To which I'll also add an interesting 21 inch and 20 inch entry. Suffice to day the mass increase won't lead to a massive increase in volume, and we're talkinga roughly man sized projectile.

Now, if a mass lightening field was used, anything inside the ship would be reduced. The crew would be reduced of course which leads to some interesting problems by itself but we'll ignore that. The shells would be mass lightened. If they were reudced by a factor of 50-100.. they would be.. 20-40 kg in mass. For reference this is the mass of a 120-155mm shell roughly, and its a pretty safe bet you don't need 40 guys hauling on chains to move something like that! Indeed I kind of debate you would need that many people even for a ~2 ton shell really, but I digress. The point is, you can't have extreme mass lightening on a starship without changing the dynamics of the combat (not just the undesired "KE" calcs, as some wish.) Mass lightening would make shells easier to load. Indeed, the shell would have to be permanantly mass lightened, else once it leaves the ship it would regain its mass and its velocity would plummet (Which has unpleasant consequnces.. imagine what happens when you fire it out the prow guns!) Nevermind the potential recoil problems this creates if the shell weren't lightened but the bulk of the ship was!

On the other hand, one could argue that maybe the several tons is the "lightened" round and it is bigger :P

But that';s not all:

Cadian Blood wrote:Lastly, it was not viable to mount a nova cannon on any ship smaller than a cruiser-class vessel, purely because the recoil of firing the weapon would, at best, throw navigation all to hell and take precious minutes to recover. At worst — and much more likely — firing the weapon would collapse a smaller vessel’s superstructure and destroy the ship.

Cadian Blood wrote:The second thing was that Depth of Fury lost all pretence of stability. The kickback from firing the nova cannon was colossal, effectively killing the cruiser’s forward motion and sending it veering to starboard, out of control.

Much as we know from other sources (like BFG) with regard to nova cannons.. a nova cannon requires a starship fire its engines to compensate for momentum. Which is described by what we have above (the ship having significant backwards momentum imparted to it which the ship has to compensate for) It couldn't represent the mass lightening being on, because if it was that signficiant a recoil.. and the mass was significantly reduced.. why do they bother turning it on when they fire the gun? They're just wasting power and propellant firing engines needlessly, when they could just shut off the mass lightenin gnad let the ship's own mass absorb the firing. And if it Was off here.. well that would preclude turning it on because you're just going to make the recoiling even worse!

Either way from either example, you have cases where Mass lightening either doesnt exist, isn't used in combat always (or usually), or if it is used, it doesn't affect things significnatly. Or it just simply doesn't literally reduce mass - universes like Andromeda and Mass Effect feature technologies like that - we dont know and its quite clearly open to interpretation -we simply know there are certain obvious and inescapable limits that basically means certain people can't use Mass lightening as an excuse to reduce calcs they don't like, since there is not only no reason to think it works in that particular way (ont that they ever are very specific about the mechanism) but that it is a fundamental part of firing weapons in combat. There's lots of possible ways to fit it in either by reconciling or dismissing it, and either way works with me its just.. not going to result in 35 kg shells being thrown across space. Not for nova cannon, bombardment cannon, or macro cannon. :P

Edit: and like I said I'll get around to Eisenhorn, IA3, and a few other sources later. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Cykeisme » 2011-11-21 09:41pm

Aside from that one-line reference to Astartes showing up (apparently at the request of the AdMech?) to collect some Hunter rigs for Mechanicus study, how do all these exotic gangers and Hunter rigs and stuff compare to an Astartes? Are there any more scenes that give a clue to this?
I'm guessing that if Helmwar is feared and respected, and he still needs to fear the Arbites, then the Astartes would be several levels of martial prowess above everything here?
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Sinewmire » 2011-11-21 10:03pm

'm guessing that if Helmwar is feared and respected, and he still needs to fear the Arbites, then the Astartes would be several levels of martial prowess above everything here?

There's the political side as well. As seen in the Enforcer book, Arbites and other Imperial authorities (Administratum etc.) tend to see it as their duty to remind planetary governors that they're just big fish in small ponds. The Arbites probably can't match the Governor of Necromunda in men and materials, but as members of an Imperium-wide organisation, they probably have a lot of political leverage, as well as the promise of more Arbites from offworld if neccesary.
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-11-21 10:11pm

Hunter Rigs are a bit more specialized than Astartes Power armor, but aside from a few tricks (like the Yeld rig being able to fly) they aren't inherently better equipment wise. Only the Orrus Rigs seem to be about brute force in anything like Astartes power armor, and even then the guy inside is human, whereas Astartes are still stronger, faster, better trained and able to absorb far more damage overall.

As to how they compare to Arbites? They're probably individually more poweful than arbites, but that really isn't saying much, because teh Arbites have access to far more gear (including offworld help that can level the playing field (heavy weapons, tanks, etc.) Worse comes to worse they'll coopt the PDF forces (who aren't pushovers) to assist them in suppressing a noble house that fought back against the Arbites. I suspect Helmwar would also put his weight behind the Imperial authorities onplanet as well - his authority and dominance stems from their support, more or less, and without them he'd be far more vulnerable to being overthrown.

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-12-13 02:49pm

And we're into the final update for Eye of terror. About time right?


Page 164 -
The Wandering Star was now travelling at nearly a hundred times the velocity of light! It was impossible. In normal space no ship, even with the most powerful engines, had ever managed to accelerate to more than one-half the velocity of light, and even then the friction due to dust and gas - unbelievably tenuous though the matter in the interstellar medium was - had proved so destructive as to tear sucha s hip apart.

This impiles top speed in realspace is .5c, which is interesting considering that starships have reached upwards of 3/4 the speed of light. Maybe he's thinking non-military vessels.

Page 170 - Chaos daemon (probably bloodthirster, given its description and the axe) destroys a planet with a sweep of its axe.

Page 171 - "Rose Cluster" inside the Eye was like a typical cluster - containing thousands or tens of thousands of stars and planets.

The cluster's petals are "hundreds of light years" across, and contain "thousands upon thousands" of planets.

Assuming 200 LY diameter and some 4000 planets at least, this would assume that the EYe has some 500 million planets in it, possibly billions. Whether those are all natural, or even inhabited, is up for debate. It may not be uiform. AT a minimum there are thousands/tens of thousands of worlds in the EYe, anyhow. If not millions.

Page 173
For a moment Calliden feared he was going to bring out his melta gun. But no, he realised, he would never be so foolish as to discharge its deadyl energyin in the small cabin. It would vaporise them all.

Using a meltagun in a confied space like the Wandering Star's cabin would vaproize everyone inside it.

Page 176 -
The power suit was ten thousand years old — or, from another standpoint it was only a hundred years old, for time did not proceed in a straight line in the Chaos realm. It had indeed mutated as though it were a living thing, armour and wearer growing together, changing together, tending towards the point where they would at last become a single entity

10,000 year old power armour statted to be really only a century old, due to the weird temporal nature of the Eye. This suggests that a CSM in the Eye could live for tens, even hundreds of thousands of years if they remained mostly in the Eye, given established Space Marine lifespans.

Also we see yet again Chaos mutatio ntends to fuse the armor to the person, which is quite similar to what happens with Obliterators I imagine.

Page 177

An unmodified human being was a patchwork of emotions, any one of which could betray him. There were only two ways to extirpate fear: brain surgery, or to receive the favours of Chaos. Abaddas had not felt fear for thousands of years.

- Basically personality adjustment in one form or another. We know MAriens can feel fear, but they are conditioned to not submit to it, which I would expect is something different.

Page 178
Oh, he had met other Traitor Marines — there were perhaps a quarter of a million of those in the Eye — but in all his wanderings, he had never met another Dark Angel.

- aforementioned CSM estimates there are perhaps a "quater million" Traitor Marines in the eye. It isn't too shocking - they must have a harder time acquiring gene-seed, keeping it stable, and finding suitable recruits. Nevermind all the lack of unity and infighting that goes on in the Eye as a rule.

Page 181
He knew full well houw it had been done, using an explosive that combined daemonic power with nuclear fusion, ,able to aim the detonation in one direction and punch a clean hole through a quarter of a mile of quartz in complete silence. He had seen it done before, though trapping a minor daemon inside a fusion bomb was not easy.

Daemonic shaped-charge fusion bomb that can punch a hole through a "qaurter mile" of quartz. Assuming a hemispherical detonation largely cratering would only take double digit kilotons to pull off.

Page 183
His death-barrage had emptied his bolter’s magazine, while at the same time reducing the Khorne force by about a third. Rather than spend seconds replacing the magazine he slapped the weapon to its holster-clamp and seized the streak gun in his gauntlet.

- CSM empties his bolter into a Khornate horde, reducing their numbers by a third. Earlier it is mentioned he had several thousand troops, and outnumbered the Khornates two to one. Assuming I didnt fuck up, this might imply hundreds of rounds in a CSM gun, yet more choas magic at work.

Page 183
Like much that was Chaos-crafted — especially weapons — it was partly physical, and partly psychical. Only the very strong-willed could use the streak gun. Its backlash would engulf a weak-willed user along with the target.
The streak gun was a terrible weapon. It attacked, not men’s bodies, but theirsouls, forcing them to experience in one flash every moment they had ever lived, at the same time filling them with self- hatred. The soul fled the body in horror, finding itself in the warp, to be feasted upon by some daemon or other as it saw fit. The psychic streak targeted the most mutated first of all. These were especially vulnerable, forced to see themselves through normal eyes, as they were before falling to the twisted visions of Chaos.

- STreak Gun - weapon that only works in the Eye, it strips a soul from the body to allow it to be devoured by warp predators like daemons. It also seems to be self guided to some extent.

Page 189 -
But of the three hundred boys in his intake, he alone had survived the rigours of that early training. He had then served for twenty years in a scout company, attached to the Luther Regiment — a signal honour, for the Luther Regiment was the most respected of all the nineteen regiments in the Dark Angels chapter.
It was in a scout company that a prospective Space Marine proved his worth, often sent into the thick of battle wearing only light flak armour, despatched on the most perilous of missions completely alone.

1 boy out of 300 surviving to become a Scout rather high ratio.

Also, regiments instead of Chapters. would imply the Dark angels numbered between tens or hundreds of thousands depending on how big the "regiment" was thought.

Also scouts wearing flak instead of carapace. I imagine they might in somec ases due to stealth or whatever.

Page 189
A thousand scouts had been inducted along with Magron. Only six survived to eventually become Space Marines.

6 out of 1000 scouts 1 per roughly 168. Meaning 1 initiate in 50,000 becomes an actual Dark Angel (50 million total must be taken in every few centuries or thereabouts to replenish the chapter

Page 195
Coming to the rear, he saw that the solar converters at the back of the hulking shoulder mouldings were covered in a thick layer of dust which had been attracted there by the electric charge on the silicon panels.

Captain Abaddas placed his hand on the emergency charge port on the sergeant’s backpack. There was a fizzing and a glow as he delivered power into the drained storage unit. Creaking at first, the suit came to life.

- Dark Angels power armour (mark 4) had solar converters at the back of the shoulder mouldings. The suit also has an emergency chargge port on the backpack that allows another suit of Power armour to share its own power. I guess these suits run on batteries rather than powerplants the way some power armour does. Or maybe it needs a great amount of energy to start up the reactor after so long.

Page 202
Bullets from primitive stub guns rattled off his armour as he seized hold of the edges of the opening and hauled himself through.

Unsurprising really.

Page 212
A huge hand shot out and seized hold of the Wandering Star

Despite the instant dead stop, the occupants of the craft remained steady on their feet. The inertial control which made space travel possible was able to handle the forces involved.

More inertial damping

Page 216-217
There lay Gundrum's painted spaceship, looking sleek and shiny, quite unlike any ship of the Imperium. A few hundred yards further off began a sprawl of buildings lining the nearer river bank, constructed- it appeared- of burnished brass, their piled togehter-outlines wavering and winding.


One building spanned the stream. Much larger than the others, it had three chimneys putting out a grime of smoke and red sparks.


They descended into the valley. A small pavillion of vermillion velvet had been set up between the painted spaceship and the river bank.

Implied distance of around at least 100-150 yards between starship and pavilion and pavilion and river bank

Page 223
"No, it stores nothing. What you see is happening now. You are looking through the warp, at things far off."

Like Drang's monocle. Get it? It allows you to witness what is going on far away.

Page 223
The huge building buzzed with a febrile sense of activity. There was none of the calm of prayer and contemplation. Rugolo himself turned the magnification ring now. He seemed to progress down the nave towards the far chancery. Guarding the sanctuary there stood two Titans, the greatest war machines that could be used on land, which he had seen up to now only in Imperial Guard propaganda, one on either side, power fists raised as if in salute. And beyond, in the sanctuary itself — a shimmering golden globe, surrounded by a forest of cables and hoses so numerous they almost occluded it, bracketed by field generators, both the source and the focus of all the excitement in the vast… Rugolo snatched the instrument from his eye

- The Empeor has a pair of titans guarding him, like we see in Draco It also shows that the range of the telescope, unlike Drang's monocle is considerably greater (thousands of LY in this case.) and remains realtime. It gives us quite a possible glimpse as to what is possible as far as warp-based FTL scanning/detection can be like in 40K - althoguh whether the Imperium has anything remotely similar (or at least to the ranges here) is up for debate.

Page 224
It could not be! It was impossible! He could not be looking into the Emperor’s throne room!

Gundrum relieved him of the warp telescope, replaced it in its box, and the box in the sled

The telescope is referred to as a "warp telescope"

Page 230
It was to no avail. The belt was lowered. Each Gendovan, flexing desperately, disappeared into his vat. Half a minute later he came up again, spluttering and dripping, wailing with protest until he went down again.

Squatting down beside Rugolo to make himself heard over the screams, the distillery worker continued explaining the process, in the same friendly, informative tone. “The dipping has to go on for quite a while, you see. It’s like making candles, except in reverse. Instead of putting tallow on the wick by degrees, the soul is gradually leeched out of you, if you like, all the psychic content going into the liquid. Oh, that liquid is the secret of this business! No one else knows it, not on this world, not on any other! Well, I’m not saying any more about that, am I? That’s our trade secret. What’s it like? Well, I’m not going to say you’ll enjoy it. You feel like everything’s being drawn out of you. It’s quite uncomfortable. But after a while you hardly know where or who you are, so they say. It’s all gone into the solution. Then with the last dip they leave you there and you stop breathing. The rendering down begins then. There’s lots of chemicals and hormones and things, like memory molecules out of your brain, all those things go into the brew too. Then we draw you off to clarify. After that it goes to the still to be sublimated, then to the casks for maturing. Been in this job all my life, I have, ever since I was a boy. Proud of the work we do here, I am. Best liqueurs in the galaxy! And this is why: they are essence of human being. Could there be anything better?”

- The souls/minds/thoughts/essences of beings from outside the Eye of Terror are leached out and distilled into a sort of liquor (by dipping them into some weird syrup like substance that drains it out). Not exactly Soylent Green, but close enough.

Page 231
Instead he was on the floor of the shield, wielding the melta-gun. Its sub-molecular flame whooshed and roared ahead of him, vaporising men and charring plant and machinery, sending out a wave of heat which he could feel even where he was.

Meltagun again - yadda yadda vaporizing men, hundreds of megajoules if not gigajoules - or multiple megajoules for severe burns. etc..

Page 232
The airboats had returned, landing just beyond the line of workshops.

Airboats landing close to the workshops (near the river)

Page 232
Rugolo continued as fast as he could along the river, CAlliden in tow, to discover that a few of the mutants had been left behind to seize the painted spaceship.

Heading back towards Gundrum's spaceship.

Page 233 -
They [mutants] were pinned down behind their ariboat, as were Gundrum and Foafoa, crouched by the scarlet pavilion, exchanging laser with musket shot.

Gundrum and Foafoa are armed with laspistols (apparently the ones they took from Rugolo and Calliden, I'd say) and exchanging fire with mutants armed with muskets. This would suggest laspistol ranges approximatley around 100 meters, give or take a few dozen meters either way. The fact the mutants are using muskets (not neccesarily accurately mind) reinforces that approximate range.

Now you see why I wasted time establishing all those quotes about the position of the river, workshops, pavilion and spaceship. It is possible depending on interpretation it could be several hundred metres, which isn't impossible for laspistols, but wouldn't be much more than 200-300 metres.

Page 233 -

So far they had not been spotted, and they were too far away for the range of the melta-gun, though worryingly, in range of Gundrum's laser.


When he had covered half the distance, Gundrum turned and looked at him with a ludicrous exposition of surprise. He let fly with a badly aimed laser shot. Rugolo answered with a brief squeeze on the melta-gun's trigger, the stock at his shoulder. There was a hissing as the blast of sub-molecular energy superheated the air through which it passed. He twisted round to let off another blast in the direction of the airboats. The melta-gun was a short-range weapon and he was still too far off to do any real harm, but through the haze it created he saw Gundrum fall back, raising his arms as though to ward off the heat. Foafoa, however, took the opportunity to launch himself across the gap towards the mutants. Unwittingly Rugolo had given him covering fire.

He and Calliden ran through the same swirling haze of still-hot air, feeling their skin burn. In seconds they were past the small pavilion. Rugolo glanced round and saw Foafoa, close by the airboats, alying about him with his laspistol, the bright beam darting here and there.

Laspistols have longer ranges than meltaguns, suggesting a meltagun has less than a 100 meter or so range (or several hundred meter.. not a significant difference either way.)

PAge 233
Rugolo dodged another laser shot and then, putting the melta-gun's stock back to his shoulder, marched challengingly on. He was close enough now to be able to vaporise Gundrum.

Walking on a short distance puts them in effective range. I guess the difference in range between a laspistol and a meltagun is not significant.

Page 235
If I kill your navigator now, will you really fire that melta-gun in such a confined space? You would cook us both, as well as turn this control room into slag."

Effects of a meltagun yet again in a confined space.

Page 245
Such was the ferocity of the battle that Caliban was reduced to a fragment, held together only by the defence screens of the central fortress monastery.

Caliban's Theatre shields seem to have some structurally reinforcing component by this as well as protecting against the planet's destruction.

Page 248 - a AdMech tech-adept paints a rune on a piece of machinery that is malfcuntioning/nonfunctional and restores it. Ironically, it is red paint. Human WAAAGH effect at work!

Page 248
The disordered jungle of engine rooms and machine shops he had just visited extended for a full Imperial mile, and that did not include the massive drive engines, both warp and realspace, which occupied the aft mile and a half of the Gothic battleship.

Lower limit on the Gothic battlehsip of 2.5 miles, although it impiles something between 3-5 miles in this particular case.

Page 249
Lord Militant Commander Drang, resplendent in full combat uniform, including a peaked hat able to become a full space helmet, prosthetic eye glinting, strode to and fro.

- Lord Militant commander Drang has a peaked hat that doubles as a full space hlemet (and presumably a fully enclosed uniform/suit)

Page 250
One of these showed the main deck of the Rectitude, as it speared through space, four Imperial miles long, bearing ranks of Cobra-class destroyers, Ravager attack ships and Doomfire bombers. It was also possible to see the superstructure and outrigs of the massive ship, the intricately crenellated towers, ,the gargoyled casemates and buttressed sponsons which bore the battleship's mighty weapons.

Apart from the craft arrayed on the flight deck, cruisers and frigates clung like barnacles to the sides of the flagships while, moving under their own power, brute ramships and heavy battlecruisers flanked the huge vessel in all directions.

Gothic class Battleships 4 miles long - 6.4 km. Note the ATtacks hips and doomfire bombers (whicha re now chaos ships) as well as sublight cobra destroyers - yet more signs of the age of the material.

It also implies more turreted type weapons (sponsons and casemates, which while not exactly turreted are still more sophisticated than simple broadside guns)

It also carries its own cruisers and frigates externally mounted. "ramships" and Battlecruisers in unknown numbers are escorts. I wonder if this includes the reference to "heavy cruisers" as well?

Page 251
Revered commander, this is not realspace as it should be! the speed of light is infinite here! we are travelling at translight velocity without the benefit of the warp!"

A "useful modifcation" according to Drang, and useful to the Imperium if they could duplicate it. Doubt they could and it would be safe to do so, but it would be interesting (and create weird effects not unlike a Lensmanverse inertialess drive)

Page 251
The small Chaos ships stationed near the Cadian Gate were almost casually dealt with, blasted out of existence as the fleet darted towards the five worlds where, according to the nullship report, the Chaos invasion fleet was being constructed.

5 Worlds constructing the Chaos fleet - supposedly.

Page 252
The psykers, gagged to muffle their screams, were struggling and attempting to speak. The Schola Psykana adepts who read their minds — a safety screen against Chaos terrors — relayed a startling message. Therewere no dockyards orbiting the denoted worlds. No enormous yards and factories on the planetary surfaces. The Navy had come to destroy what was simply not there. The psykers aboard the nullship had been deceived. They had picked up mental images only.

The psykers are scanning planets psychically and the metnal images are picked up on.

Page 252
Psykers and scrying teams reported human habitation, as well as daemonic presence. Drang consulted Invisticone and they came to a decision. After a brief but devastating laser barrage, half of the Imperial Guard regiments were dropped, divided between the five planets. Drang felt only a passing pang of conscience as he saw the swarms of pods rain down. Never before had a world within the Eye of Terror been invaded by the Imperium. The occupation would be brief and the guardsmen were ultimately doomed, though they did not know it. This was an exercise, an experiment. Any who rejoined the fleet when it withdrew would first be examined for Chaos contamination and then scoured, exterminated.

- psykers and scrying teams scan worlds and the surrounding areas for "human habitation" as well as daemonic presence (on the surface of a planet.) They are apparently in orbit, ,however. - this just indicates that sensors and psykers seem to share similar functions.

Also the guardsmen sacrificed as an experiment. Grimdark!

Page 252
There was another advantage of the Great Inventor's welding togehter of warp and realspace. As the velocity of light was infinite, communication was instantaneous. The fleet's farseer radars could see light-years ahead." The cry came from the tech-adepts and the Schola Psykana adepts simultaneously.

implied light years in a second. Another possibly interesting way to use the warp to boost communications and detection ranges. Interesting the response was shared by the psyker adepts and the techpriests manning the sensors and comms isnt it?

Page 252
four hundred Gothic-class battleships led the way, racing deeper into the Eye.


Accompanying the Gothics were heavy battlecruisers by the thousand, and as many ramships. Cobras and Doomfires launched themselves from the Gothics' decks. Cruisers detached themselves from the holding brackets.

To meet the challenge there sprang from the Immaterium nearly three hundred Chaos Juggernauts - buitl to the Great Inventor's own design as the answer to the Gothic - together with thousands of Iconoclast, Idolator and Infidel class cruisers.

400 Gothic class battleships, 1000+ batltecruisers, 1000+ ramships, various unnamed crusiers and bombers and destroyers. At least 2400 major warships, unknown number of cruisers and escorts. One might be tempted to establish fleet sizes from this, but we dont really know the actual breakdowns and percentages between the shared Segemntum fleets, and what it represents of the total segmentum fleet numbers. I'm sure someone will try anyhow :)

"Iconoclast, Idolator, Infidiel" class cruisers - some of those are escorts.

Page 253

But it had cost no small effort to field his battlefleet. He had drafted the extra workforce from the Rhodonius planets only hours ago, ,as the linear time of the Imperium would reckon it. But in the warp, where time meant nothing, they and their progeny had laboured in the forge hells for over a century. Some of their descendants now helped man the Chaos battlecruisers, in the service of their daemonic masters.

The Chaos fleet is formed of the Great Inventors "new matter".. and forged the fleet in hours (In imperium time) but spent a century making them.

This might give an implication of shipbuilding times for batltecruisers/battleships, at least iwthin the Eye.

Page 253
As the two huge fleets hurlted towards one another they opened up with vast lascannons. Ships were scythed open while the fleets were still far aparrt, spilling their contents in a spreading mist.


Then the fleets came togehter, ,discharging plasma cannons and plasma torpedoes.

Ship weapons. Note the absence of any projecitle cannon. Yet another sign of how outdated the space stuff in this novel is.

PAge 253
Juggernaut and Gothic! A million tons meeting a million tons at a million miles per second! The flash produced by such mutual annihilation lit up the entire segment of the Eye.[

two ships a million tons at 5.3c. Obviously you can't calc the impact. Also implies a Gothic class masses a mere million tons, although this may be a result of the weird Eye physics since its even sillier than the Rogue Trader RPG masses. an alternate interpretation would be if we adopted that crazy "mas lightening" crap mentione dbefore. If the ship is mass lightened, then we have an upper limit on such for a 5-6 km ship (which is about cruiser-battlecruiser scale as per Rogue trader) which is around 30-50 megatonnes.. suggesting the mass lightening is far below a factor of 100 (Eg a ship's "lightened" mass is less than 1/100th its true mass.) This is probably generous given a.) Gothic classes are staed to be smaller in Harlequin (possibly), b.) Gothic class battleships are nowhere near as blocky/bulky as modern Imperial ships here or here
It works either way, and as an upper limit.

Page 254
After the first impact, which produced dozens of these flares, the two fleets reduced their velocity and engaged in more conventional manner. Ramming was in fact part of conventional tactics — all Imperial Navy ships had ram prows — but not at such velocity as to destroy the attacker as well. Laser, plasma and ram!
Screech and shriek of tortured metal, rip of adamantium armour torn apart, millions of tonnes of incandescent wreckage exploding into space! The Brute ramships tore at the Juggernauts like dogs worrying a stag, adding themselves to the deep-probing laser shafts and vaporising plasma. The Chaos ships rammed, too, whenever they could, unheeding of any damage done to themselves

- "deep probing" laser shafts and "vaporising" plasma wepaons along side rammign tactics. This is yet another reaosn you can tell this is Space Fleet, as Space Fleet was big on ramming tacitcs (which coudl still happen but became rarer, fluff wise, in BFG)

Incidentally the fact they're engaging in ramming tactics tends to downplay the idea they literally reduce the mass of their ships. The defender could just increase his mass to counter. Nevermind that dodging at a reduced mass would be much lighter - it would make ramming pretty silly.

I suppose if we still DID take it literally, we learn the ships are reduced to a mere million tons. Which means at worst, a ship's mass is reduced to 1/100th its normal mass at most (a 6.4 km ship is nearly the same size as a 5 km one, so it would be around 50-100 million ship tons per the rogue trader RPG) Acceleration would go up correspondingly.to match (the battleships having hundreds of gravitiies, at least)

Either way we aren't really getting down to 35 kg Nova cannon shells ;)

Page 254 -

So it was entirely due to his own skill and daring when a champion of Tzeentch succeeded in dashing his Juggernaut into the side of the Rectitude, despite his ship's being disabled by a broadisde of laser and plasma fire from the turret and sponson on the approach. A deep wound was opened up in the side of the Gothic Battleship.

Turret and sponson weapons. Note the ramming tactics not doing sever damage, though we can't calc it.

Page 255
It was the fourth day of the space battle...

Th espace battle lasted four days. how much of that was manuvering and firing we aren't told though.

Page 255
His technique of creating matter out of the stuff of Chaos was not yet perfected. It was false matter, virtual matter. In this specially prepared part of the Eye of Terror such false matter could persist for days before it dissolved back into the immaterium. Elsewhere in the Eye it might last for a few hours.

In normal space-time, it would shred and dissolve in minutes.

The Chaos battlefleet, built at the cost of such toil and suffering, had done what it could.

The Chaos fleet built of the "false matteR" falls apart in the space of a day. The crews all die of exposure to vaccuum. And the great joke of this subplot comes to its close, especially the irony that the Eldar can do shit Chaos itself can't.

Page 255

- Over half the Imperium fleet is still mobile/combat capable, including over a hundred Gothics. Whether the rest were crippled, disabled, or destroyed we don't know.

PAge 268
Abbadas' Armorum Ferrum, as the Mark Three armour was sometimes called, had great strenght, greater than Magron's Mark Four. Margon would not be able to hold the Captain down.

Mark 3 vs Makr 4 SM armour.

Page 268 - Word Bearer chaplain endures three separate shots of unknown power from a meltagun before dying (remains unmarked though after third blast. Guess would be exertion killed him.)

Page 272
Of warp-sourced matter from which a great battlefleet had been constructed; 'virtual matter' the daemon called it.

More on the warp based pseudomatter. Again parallels to wraithbone surface.

Page 282-283

-Naval Intelligence recruits Rugolo and Calliden as agents to work inside the eye (because as the officer thinks, they aren't intelligent enought o appreicate the full horror of what they encountered in the Eye.) The Alterantive being that they get hnaded over to the Inquisition (for interrogation and execution.) for what they witnessed. I wonder if this is routine practice.

Page 285 -
"Did you think you were the first to make false matter? It cannot be made stable! The cosmic balance is not upset so easily!"

Other daemons of Tzeentch torture the Great Inventor over his "discovery" and we learn that the daemons believe it "impossible" to make stable. "But whata bout the Eldar and Wraithbone?" you ask? I dont know. I give up at this point.

Page 286
There are secrets known not even to the Inner Circle of the Fallen Angels, and one final secret known only to the God Emperor himself. Deep, deep within the Rock, at the centre of what was once the planet Caliban, lies a sealed, unreachable chamber. Here lies sleeping the Chapter Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, carried away by the Watchers in the Dark on that terirble day when the Dark Angels Chapter tore itself apart.

Only the God Emperor, and psosibly the unconscious mind of the Primarch through which hte God Emperor had acted, knew what had nudged and guided the frozen body of Sergeant Magron on his long journey into the Eye of Terror, a secret weapon aimed at the heart of Chaos.

Page 286
The Chi’khami’tzann Tsunoi was one of the first ever to be created by the great Lord of Change, and was reckoned by some to be almost as wise and cunning as Tzeentch himself. He it was who had manipulated the young, inexperienced Great Inventor — and then discarded him. He acknowledged that the Emperor was a god in his own right, worthy to be an ally of Tzeentch himself, so great was his foresight, so subtle his ability to pinpoint cusps which, with the slightest of nudges, could deflect events on to another course. He had even utilised the forces of Chaos, to manoeuvre his actors into position. But the game was still afoot, and would be for millennia. The Emperor had manipulated Chaos but the greater daemon, in turn, had manipulated the Emperor. There were manipulations within manipulations, and only he who failed to see them all would lose.

- another acknoweldges the GEoM as a "god in his own right, "worthy to be an ally" of Tzeentch
The Greater daemon however claims to have manipulated the Emperor.

This is interesting mainly in it shows the level of foresight/planinng both the daemons and the God Emperor operates at, but also that the Emperor is still active and working in the galaxy rather than simply just being a dead, rotting corpse. It also suggests that there was some other element to the Emperor than its manifested, corporeal form, manipulating things as far back (potentially) as the Horus HEresy, which is something implicated quite a few ways by the current HH seies (EG the stuff involving Euphrati Keeler)

I wouldn't take the Daemon's words at face value. Tzeentch is but one of four Chaos gods (nevermind other Xenos deities) the Emperor has to fight against, nevermind stuff like the shadow in the Warp, and I doubt his attention is perfect, so outwitting him is probably alot less impressive in the sense the Emperor is juggling a bigger plate.

Page 286

The Emperor was a great lord, but he was shackled to the husk of his material form, kept alive by mortals who feared to lose their protector. Eventually their efforts would fail. The husk would die, and the Emperor would be released unfettered into the heavenly realms.

Then the true war would begin. The Emperor would exert himself to cancel out the four Chaos powers and integrate them into a sane and harmonious whole, thereby harmonizing the psyche of mankind. But the heavenly masters did not want to be so absorbed

The intresting thing is that this implies that at some point in the future the Emperor "die" then engage in a battle with the chaos Gods for the Warp itself - in a sense conquering and absorbing the various Chaos Gods into himself and becoming stronger (the same way Chaos Gods and the Emperor absorb the souls of its worshipers, or Chaos absorbs daemons to grow stronger.)

It also implies that humanity (unsurprisingly) is what most significantly fuels the existence of the Chaos Gods.

One interetsing speculation is that this is what the events of the 999.M41 are leading up to, although this is old fluff and that is no longer definite (although we know the Imperium survives past M42, but only since 5th edition has it been hinted that the Golden Throne is starting to fail, so it could be some time yet before that "final battle") Up to this point we can assume that the Emperor (and Chaos) are racing each other to gain power in the materium before that great battle.

There are all the other subplots (the Ork Gods, The Tyranids, the C'Tan, the Eldar plans to defeat Chaos both with their own souls and by using humanity, etc.) but that is beyond this book :)

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-12-19 03:38pm

Time for Farseer. This one is a heretic Tome I believe, but I'm not quite sure why it is.. It doesnt seem all that contradictory (not when compared to things like Inquisition War or Eye of Terror) It also was a series that had, I think, some real promise had it taken off beyond one book, and it definitely feels like it was intended as being a multi-book series. I'm covering it because a.) I have it sitting on my hard drive written up and b.) It may still be quasi canon, or at least parts of it may still be relevant and c.) Its my analysis and I can if I want to. Bearing in mind its potential status, here we go!

Like some, I'll be handling it in two parts. This is part one.

Page 5
Same dim reddish glow-globes floating in their mock-Imperial chandeliers below the ceiling. Same poison snoopers hanging like metal-legged spiders above every table.

Poison snoopers. Every Imperial eatery or such seems to have stuff like that.

Pag e8

"“Aye. Tall man, massive, garbed all in grey. Robes, boots, tunic, cloak. Only thing that wasn’t black was his hand. All silver it was—prosthetic gauntlet of some sort, I guess. Expensive by the look of it, forge world stuff, maybe even Old Terran. He was a monster—bigger than Dugan by a half, and maybe there was something wrong with his mouth. He left the talking to the tattooed man.”

Prosthetics judged by grade - forge world and "old Terran" are high quality (Terra produces prosthetics?) Also big men.. marine sized maybe.

Page 9
Not so long ago he had been at the top of the world, a rogue trader whose services were sought out by half the wealthy merchants of the sub-sector,...

A rather prominent sub-sector level rogue trader. Not exactly on the scale of the "Emperor bestowed" ones it would seem....

Page 15
Janus was reminded of the low gravity dwellers on Talus’s Wheel—the thin, sickly ones too weak to move in anything like Earth-normal gee without an exoskeleton—but when the strangers moved he put that thought aside.

Void born, in other words. Also not ethe exokseltetal assistance.

Page 17
“I have activated the privacy field. No one can hear us. If they are very clever they might be able to read my lips, but as long as you wear those cowls and keep your backs to the room no one but us will understand a word you say. Is this private enough for you?”

Privacy field technology.

Page 17
"I have no ship and my charter has been revoked by the planetary governor, pending inquiries into my financial situation.”

Again this must not be a particularily impressive or high end Rogue Trader charter, given it can be superseded by a planetary governor (contrast with Legacy or even.. ugh.. Clan Arcadius.)

Page 28
“That they are eldar would make sense. In the end all dreamstones come from the eldar. They grow them somehow, although no one knows how."

Eldar spirit stones, in other words.

Page 30
Could it really be possible that Janus Darke did not know the true value of what he had been given? She supposed so—after all, he had no idea of the true value of what he was becoming. He had taken the amulet without any hint of suspicion; little knowing that it forged a link between him and the great master that would soon be all but unbreakable. It had been a lucky day for her when
she first encountered Janus, luckier still when she saw the potential within him, and had brought it to the attention of her superior in the worship of the cult.

She looked down at the dreamstone and felt the strange alien power within the thing. She did not try to draw on it. It would not let her. In fact it would harm her. The thing had been made to protect against people like her, against agents of the Lord of Forbidden Pleasures. If poor foolish Janus had known how to use it, it might even have protected him for a time. But then he did not..

Waystone. Possibly an eldar spiritstone or a variation of such. Seems to react poorly against Slaaneshic ultists (for obviosu reasons) Worth alot it seems.

Page 35 - mention of airlocks and factory hives - the atmosphere isn't great here, but its not exactly ash blown wasteland.

Page 39
It still seemed almost amazing to him that the soldiers had been prepared to listen to a boy whohad no more experience than basic militia training, and what he had read in his small cot in thescribe’s building of Sansom & Sansom in his few hours of leisure.
He had been fortunate that the senior partners at Sansom & Sansom had recognised his talent.
It had not been too long before he had convinced the merchant princes to give him command of a trading ship and a force of mercenaries. They had underwritten his application for a rogue trader’scharter and the cost of his first voyage, that long glorious sweep through the Draconic Arm, and hehad repaid their investment ten times over in trade goods and monopoly treaties with the rulers of the worlds he had found. Ten new worlds he had brought into the Imperium of Man on that voyage,and every one of them had made him a pretty penny too.

- Janus Darke had reclaimed 10 worlds for the Imperium with a trading ship and a force of mercs. Rather interesting in how he acquired his charter - it wasn't inherited, it was bestowed, much in the fashion of a privateering license. It is, by other context (EG Legacy and such) a wildcat charter, one of the lesser brand of rogue trader charters granted by the Imperium. Still grants him great power, of course.. but only within the context of the area he taks.

He also brought ten new worlds into the Imperium's subsector. At least 11 (and probably alot more) worlds per subsector.

Also we learn of militia force training, a supplement to PdF I guess. And a inter-sector (galactic) trading cartel, probably linked to Belisarius.

Page 40

He had impressed Belisarius enough that the young Navigator had become his business partner. Janus had made enough money from that one voyage to pay for his share in the purchase of the Star of Venam. Simon had raised the rest of the money from his House. Janus could still remember the interviews with the House representatives. If he concentrated he could almost smell the odd musky smell in the chamber, and those three wizened oldsters with scarves wrapped around their third pineal eye, the one they only opened to look upon the great void. They had been dour, cynical, crabbed old men and their interrogation had been long and thorough.

They must have been impressed enough by tales of the voyage and his previous battles for they had loaned Simon the money without demur. Perhaps it had not really been a loan, perhaps he had simply acquired a silent partner in House Belisarius. Even after all these years he was still unsure exactly of the relationship between his Navigator and his House. The politics of the Navis Nobilitae were complex beyond belief, as he supposed was only to be expected from a trading clan with its roots back in the legendary times before even the Imperium was founded.

Yes, a Belisarius. Of house Belisarius. From Space Wolf. They funded Darke's Rogue Trader ambitions as well, showing how they get their hands in every economic venture across the Imperium if they can.

Also we learn again starships can be bought and traded and rented and everything. Rather puts some doubt on the whole "starships are rare and precious and uncommon and poorly understood mysterious relics" if they can just be giving them out to newly minted rogue traders is it?

Page 41
He had undertaken another great voyage through the great blank areas on the edge of the star chart, discovering the migration route along which the ork hulks drifted into the sector and destroying three wrecks full of greenskins. He had planted the banner of the Imperium on Dykastra, and brought the long lost people of that benighted world back into the fold of civilisation. Honours had been heaped on him.

Merchants had clamoured to fund his next voyage. Even the Inquisition had regarded him with a healthy measure of respect.


He had built a palace here on Medusa and stocked it with the treasures of a hundred worlds.


His company had become a regiment. His single ship had grown into a fleet. By the time he was
thirty he had become a merchant prince as great as any who held the reins in the millennia old house of Sansom & Sansom. Ships bearing his name had slid smoothly out from Medusa to all the worlds of the Segmentum Obscura. He had underwritten his voyages of exploration, picking likely men from his crews and sponsoring them as rogue traders. At one time he had controlled a fleet as great as the governor’s, and a force of warriors who made up for what they lacked in numbers by sheer skill, ferocity and the quality of their equipment.

The rise of the Darke Empire, sort of. Expanding to sector level, the "treasure of a hundred worlds" either conquered, colonized or otherwise (I assume) brought into the Imperial fold, given the context. He is able to expand his mercantile interests (backed by Belisarius) across the sector, and controls a fleet "as great as the governors" There are several interesting implications from this:

- First Darke's conquests. He has, arguably, added anywhere from 10-100 worlds to the Imperial fold in his lifetime (about a decade or so tops) and becomes a sector level powerhouse. That makes him unusual, but hardly a rare or unique commodity in the Imperium, especially considering its a wildcat charter - he will be one of dozens, even hundrds of such Traders in a sector, and in many other sectors you see people who can be as notable (or moreso) - such as presented in the FFG Rogue Trader RPG. Even if there were only a few hundred or a few thousand others like Darke that would still mean at dozen (or more, dozens) of worlds brought into the Imperial fold within a generation - thousands or tens of thousands of worlds across the whole Imperium (hundreds or thousands annaully.) Over millenia we are talking many millions (and more likely tens if not hundreds of millions) of worlds brought into the Imperial fold just by people like Darke - nevrmind Space MArines, Crusades of conquest, colonization and garrison, Explorator missions, etc. Even if most of those died out for one reason or another, or faded into obscurity, thats a huge chunk of territory to be adding to the Imperium over time - its quite easy to believe why the Imperium might really encompass millions, even billions of actual worlds.

- Darke trades all across Segmentum Obscurus within that decade, covering thousands, if not tens of thousands of light years in years, even months of time (less than a decade remember) tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands times the speed of light.. for merchant traffic.

- Darke amasses a fleet that can rival a planetary governor. Not only is this proof planetary governors can possess (and sell or distribute) warp capable starships (although not neccesarily navigators!) but a "fleet" would imply many ships - half a dozen, a dozen, a score? Again someone like Darke is going to be a major figure, but not a unique one, and major rogue traders alone are likely to bring tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of starships to bear by themselves. Adding in minor rogue traders (who might have only a ship or tow, but are likely to be considerably more numerous than the Darkes of the galaxy) only increase this number. Imperial Governors likely have their own fleets, which is perhaps a comparable amount. Hell, they are likely to be a minority compared to the fleet assets of the Adeptus Terra/Imperial Navy, which means they must have at least hundreds of thousands, if not millions of ships in their own hands.

To be fair, the bulk of those are NOT going to be warships (at best, many will be heavily armed freighers) but a fair percentage will be. Again this meshes well with all the other existing data regarding the scope of the Imperium.

Page 42
Oh, he had made enemies all right, but what man did not who rose from the gutters of Crowe’s Town to a palace on the Avenue of the Emperor and a fortune counted in tens of millions of

Darke's fortune. Assuming a Ducat is comparable to a credit or Throne gelt.. that's significant, but it will pale in comparison to the implied economic fortunes of a sector, or even of a planetary world. It also is dwarfed by the Adminsitratum's tithing in all probabiltiy. Again Darke is a major figure on the sector level, as far as rogue traders and invididuals go, but he's not exactly an "old school" Rogue Trader either.

Page 43
...the way to a world where an ancient temple contained one of the great grails all rogue traders sought, a Standard Template Construct, a legacy of the ancient dark age when men had first mastered the secrets of the universe, and built their galaxy spanning civilisation. These things were almost literally priceless; to any man who found one the Imperium offered a bounty which was enough to buy an entire planet.

Value of an STC.

Page 44

He studied the musty leather bound tomes, their covers embossed in the scripts of a dozen different worlds. How many of those could he read? Five score or was it six? Not that it mattered greatly. Forced memory learning had given him that skill.

His brain was stacked with vocabularies for languages that he might never use, but which n onetheless were there in case of need. In his youth he had paid a small fortune for the training. A servant of the Imperium might be able to spend his whole career speaking nothing but High and Vernacular Gothic, but Janus could communicate in the speech of every major starport he was ever likely to do business in.

Darke managed to get "forced education" for languages, at least. of 5-6 score worlds, which he regards as enabling him to communicate in "every major starport" he could visit. Again as a sector level power goes, this would be entirely consistent (again at least a hundred or so Imperial worlds.) He also had to have learned that in under a decade (mastering 10-12 languages a year, or one per month). I expect that to gain even a modest proficiency in a language, even they are related (possibe in the Imperium, esp within a sector - most Imperial languages have some tie to Gothic) we're talking the equivalent of months if not years of study I expect.

Page 44
He recalled traders he had encountered on the Far Worlds, representatives of some craftworld bargaining for statues, worthless junk or so it seemed to Janus, and yet which was of great significance to them.

Darke mentions trading on a world that was dealing with Craftworld eldar. Intersting.

PAge 44
The phaeton of one of the nobility drifted past the coachman steering it carelessly as it drifted over the heads of the crowd.

Antigrav coach.. able to hover several metres off the ground.

Page 46
It was a world, Janus was certain, that some time soon the Inquisition would come down on, and cut the very heart out of like a glutton scooping the innards out of a melon. It should have happened before now, and yet it had not.

Was it because they were so distant from the hub of Imperial government and so close to the Eye of Terror? Was there some sort of pestilential radiation emitted from that dreadful place that warped the minds of the locals? And what of the hints of bribery on a massive scale, a corruption that reached out from Medusa right into the vast web of the Imperial bureaucracy?

Long ago Janus had been to the Hall of Records on Terra, and knew how vast was the Imperium of Man. It would not take much effort to lose the records
pertaining to Medusa, and the dockets that contained the reports of Imperial spies.

Such things could be done for a price. Simon had hinted that House Belisarius did it, but indeed so did all of the other great Houses and trading concerns of the Imperium. It was all part of doing business. Perhaps the governor of Medusa, or whoever was behind him, had similar connections. Or perhaps he paid one of the great Houses to do it for him… maybe even House Belisarius. It was not impossible.

Darke's planet is lcose to the eye of Terror. You know what's weird.. Medusa is the home world of the Iron Hands, but I'm pretty sure that is not where he is. It would be something that would be mentioned, nevrmind it wouldn't have stuff like that. Is it within the same system or sector? Doubtful but...

It may actualyl be better to just say the name is a coincidence, or is overwritten by canon (maybe it simply translates to Medusa.. it might be called Gorgon or something lol)

Page 51
On the inner worlds, where each of the Houses of the Navis Nobilitae maintained their own Houses, he would never have met anybody like Alysia. He would not even be sharing a city, let alone a chamber with one of his clan’s hereditary enemies like Konrad Akura over there. Here on this frontier world things were different, less formal.

Places like this, the House of the Great Eye, could exist and old hostilities could be buried at least for the duration of the visit to the planet’s surface.

The distance you are from Terra seems to influence the "cosmopolitan-ness" of your surroundings. This would imply that the closer in to the core of the Imperium you go, the more sophisticated, well-defended, and probably stable things are. Which makes sense, since alot of stuff takes place more on the fringes of the Imperium, especially Ultima segmentum (which is a big giant chunk of frontier)

Also navigators, as we learn from the Space Wolf series, keep their own lodgings and territory on other worlds for the use and security of other Navigators, regardless of House.

Page 53
He strode across the room, past the massive table, and gazed out of the enormous armour-glass window. Below him he could see the spires of the hive city emerging from the clouds like islands rising from an ocean of mist.

Huge flames of vented gas illuminated the clouds around the peaks, surrounding them with moats of infernal red. Simon checked the security amulet on his wrist. There was no sign of surveillance, which was only to be expected since this room was supposed to be secure. Still, under the circumstances, it was impossible to be too careful.

"Medusa" seems to be a hive world for all intents and purposes. Not really shocking.

Page 55 - the Eldar of Ulthwe have a bonding/dealings with the Belisarius Navigator houses (which is ironic considering they also had dealings with the Ordos Xenos.) Ulthwe seems to make a habit of manipulating the Imperium more than any other Eldar faction.

Page 56
“That may prove difficult. I must requisition a ship from my House. It may take several months to arrange…‘

“You already possess a ship. The Star of Venam!”

“It does not entirely belong to me or my House. We are co-owners. There is another.” The ancient pact pledged Belisarius to use its entire means to fulfil the commission. It did not say anything about using other people’s.

This would suggest not all starships the Navigators employ would be owned solely by them - they share ownership or may even rent/lease them. Especially far away from the Terra, I suspect.

Belisarius also notes it would take "several months" to arrange a ship from his house. I wonder if they'd have to pull it away from Terra or somwhere close by? If so that would imply a considerable distance to be covered in a month or two.

Page 57
“Very well. How soon can we get access to these funds? Do you have mercantile scrip, letters of credit drawn on an Imperial commercial banks, chests full of ducats?”

Ducats again, as well as what I suspect might be credit card/check analogues. Nice to know there are Imperial "commerical" banks though.

Page 57
He poured them out onto his hand and felt the tingle as they touched his flesh.

Dreamstones, enough to buy a small planet if they were real and unflawed.

Somehow, he knew that they were. Their value to himself and his House was incredible. Dreamstones were one of the few things capable of protecting the mind against the depredations of Chaos. They helped absorb the baleful emissions of the immaterium, and prevented the dreadful nightmares which could afflict a Navigator after too much contact with the stuff of the other realm. Of course, not just Navigators used them, so did sorcerers, alchemists—even, it was said, members of the Inquisition. Anyone who had cause to fear the evil influence of the Great Darkness had use for them, and they came from only one source: the Craftworld of Ulthwe. He had never heard of so many coming onto the market at one time. He would have to be careful of course, because such a thing could cause a catastrophic drop in prices. There must be a hundred small and perfect stones here, enough to manipulate the markets of the Segmentum Obscura for years to come. It was an enormous fee.

Dreamstones again. If Ulthwe is the only source, this may suggest they aren't waystones (or not wholly like them.) - or maybe they're the only ones willing to trade. On the other hand, Belisarius has no way of knowing if Ulthwe is truly the only source - how many Craftworlds do they know of or interact with?

Also "segmentum level" markets that can be manipulated. I suspect he means in the market to which the dreamstones belong (xenos artifacts, warp artifacts, whatever.) rather than markets in general, but it is telling tha tsuch markets exist to start with.

Page 64
Roj was a huge man: tall and broad as an ogryn, with an enormous belly that wobbled as he laughed. A belt of suspensor globes helped support its weight.

Suspensor belt to offset pull of gravity on an enormous fat man.

Page 73
Most of the crew and the mercenaries thought Stiel was the Star of Venam’s senior clerk. Simon doubted that even if he encountered one of the fabled Imperial assassins he would ever meet a more ruthless, dedicated and ferocious killer

Mention of a secret "assassin" on Darke's payroll, whom he equates with a "fabled" Imperial assassin. I wonder if he means "assassinorum" asssassin or one of those like xenothan from Wolfblade?

PAge 74
The cutthroat carried no visible weapons, but Simon knew this meant nothing. Doubtless there were one or two poisoned daggers concealed in his wrist sheaths.

The ring he wore would have a small needle capable of injecting Daxian mongoose venom, one of the seven most lethal poisons in the Imperial alchemical roster. The chain of the pendant he wore round his neck could be converted to a garrotte at a moment’s notice. Simon knew Stiel had once sawed off a man’s head with it.

If push came to a shove, Stiel could kill with his bare hands or any weapon known to man. He was also an expert sniper.

Stiehl's tools.

Page 75
“We are in port, and we left him in the Palace of Pleasure. What harm can come to a man like him there? If he needs us, he knows how to get in touch.” Stiel added, touching the comm-net bead on his earring.

“I tried reaching him earlier,” said Simon. “No luck.”

“He’s probably with that high class tart of his,” said Kham Bell. “Doesn’t want to be interrupted.”

“Have you activated his locator?” Stiel asked, more seriously.

Darke's crew have comm beads and locators as standard. I imagine the locator is tied into the comms.

Page 83
The eldar were by reputation fearful foes. Swift, savage and ferocious they appeared for no reason, killed without mercy, and disappeared back who knew where. Their weapons and vehicles spoke of a science at least as advanced as mankind’s, possibly far more so. No examination of eldar artefacts had provided any clue as to how they worked or what powered them. They appeared to operate on entirely different principles from the machines of men. Simon had heard it speculated that the underpinnings of their science were psychic or even daemonic, for the two were after all very close. Other philosophers claimed that their machineries were so advanced as to be beyond human comprehension, or the products of a way of looking at things that was beyond human understanding. Simon had himself seen enough eldar artefacts to understand how such a theory had come about. They were alien, and looked more like elaborate works of art than devices intended for mundane use. Their vehicles and weapons resembled sculptures more than technological artefacts.

There was no doubting that they worked though, and exceedingly well.

Whenever eldar forces appeared on the battlefield, they usually contrived to more than hold their own against human forces. Simon supposed that was understandable given that they appeared to pick and choose their battlefields to suit themselves.

There seems to be some debate (at least given by this novel) whether Eldar tech is uniformly superior to Imperial tech, or if it just looks that way. Frankly this is no contest - it is better in most ways. "Better" does not neccesarily translate into raw power, but they are able to use it more effectively, especially to offset fewer numbers.

Also confirmation of Eldar psychic engineering

PAge 84-85
And then there was the mystery of those eldar ships themselves. That they existed was beyond a shadow of a doubt. Eldar raiders had struck many an Imperial convoy. Simon had fought against them himself in his time. And eldar battle fleets had intervened in many struggles against Chaos and orks, as well as against the Imperial fleet. But not one had ever been sighted in the immaterium. Ork craft, Chaos craft and many types of human and xenogen craft had been logged by the Navigators who had sensed their presence, but never, not once in more than ten millennia, had an
eldar ship been sighted.

Of course, statistically speaking it was possible that this was a result of chance.

The odds against it were astronomical given the number of Navigators and number of passages made, but it was still a possibility that had to be allowed for.

Had it been the only unusual thing it might have been worth noting, but there were other anomalies. Not once in all the times an eldar ship had been encountered in true space had one ever been seen to enter the immaterium. Eldar ships had been seen to leave solar systems, but they simply vanished. There had been no gathering of powers, no opening of ways, no transition of the ship into the immaterium. During their departure no Navigator had ever spotted the disturbance on the surface of true space that would have told him a ship had just been there. No Navigator had ever succeeded in following an eldar vessel to its port by following the ripples of a probability wake. There simply never were any. It was as if the vessels just vanished.

Of course, there were theories to account for this. It was possible that the eldar had invented some sort of cloaking device that prevented their ships from being spotted. Or perhaps their farseers, who were powerful psykers, could simply hide their trails or cloud the minds of those who followed. Simon found this idea hard to credit. He knew how potent the psychic shields that protected a starcraft were, and he doubted that they could be broached without the ship itself being destroyed. And, anyway, why would the eldar be so subtle?

One theory suggested they had something to hide, that they wanted no one to find their mysterious home worlds. Simon found this plausible. If the Imperium ever located the places they would be vulnerable to huge strikes by the overwhelming power of the Imperial fleet.

At this point in time nothing wsa known of Eldar means of travelling across the galaxy, except that it didn't involve the warp. Simon implies that it is possible for Navigators to track/observe vessls in the warp (how they don't say, but I suspect it may be psychic)

Also it implies that Farseers or other spykers may not easily influence crews onboard ship through their wards and defenses (EG such are defense against more than just warp and daemonic activity.)

Also hint of hidden Eldar "home worlds" (Exodite or colony worlds, perhaps. Although craftworlds would fill that role too.)

Page 91 - furniture in the Hive. Made from bone. Recycling and all that, yo.

Page 92 - disposable cutlery again made from recycled bone. Bone, like flesh, is a common commodity on Hives.

Page 96
Without pausing, she aimed one of the long barrelled eldar pistols at Eruk and pulled the trigger. The youth’s face disintegrated in a spray of blood. Janus sensed rather than saw the hail of razor-sharp projectiles whirl past him. Athenys continued to fire and the chest of the bodyguard beside Janus exploded outwards in long shredded strips of flesh.

Shuriken pistol fire on bodyguard/gangers. At least as effective as Imperial las/projectile weapons, easily.

Page 101
The Star was an awesome sight against the velvet blackness of space. A massive engine of commerce or destruction at her commander’s whim, a mobile
fortress, a vehicle capable of making the great leap between worlds, in short everything an Imperial starship should be.

His eyes drank in the great crenellated turrets with their massive bristling weapons and the projectile tubes in her bows. He looked hungrily at the enormous
superstructure where his own cabin and the ship’s command deck lay. As he did so, he became aware that someone else looked on the mighty vessel with eyes as avid as his own.

The Star of Venam. apparently has "projecitle tubes" forward (either torpedoes or cannon launchers, possibly both.) as well as weapons "turrets" (no broadside armaments?) also implied is a significant cargo-carrying capacity.

Page 107
“Are you going to refuse to take us there, Navigator? The place is under Imperial interdict, after all. If you won’t do it, jump us close enough and I’ll take the Star in. If it’s only a short range hop, I can plot the course myself.”

Simon’s shock kept him from speaking for a moment, then his words came out mechanically. “You could never do it. The Eye is not like any other place. It is surrounded by warp storms, time rips, chronal vortices and undertows. The warp streams are turbulent, and there are all manner of cross-currents. Only the Cadian Gate is navigable with anything like regularity, and that infrequently. I am a fully bonded Navigator of a most ancient bloodline, and I doubt my own ability to find a safe channel through. There is no way an ancestral could do so.”

Humans can plot courses thorugh the warp (short distance, at least) although if the conditions are unrelaiable such is dnagerous if not insane. Simon here comments on the reliability of plotting a course through the Eye.

Page 108
Simon smiled wryly. “You are still captain here, Janus. I am the Navigator. Until we begin our approach run to the immaterium, you are in command.


"You do it,” said Simon. “I must plot our course.”

Simon does his own plotting. Presumably aided by his powers, which is why Navigators are better at it. Also there exists a sort of dual command structure - Navigators are absolute masters, superseding even the captain (owner) whilst within the Warp.

Page 110

..its listening devices. “If you are worried about being overheard,” said Athenys, “don’t be. This chamber is secure.”

“You sound very certain.”

“I am very certain of that. Your primitive technology is hardly sophisticated enough to baffle our sensors.”

Eldar sensors and surveillance gear is superior to humans.

Page 112
“What you call psykers are people blessed or cursed with the gift to tap one of the root forces of the universe.”

“So you say—the Inquisition says they are possessed by daemons.”

“Does not your Inquisition employ psykers?”

“They are shielded by the Emperor, and by their faith.”

“And you lack that faith or are accursed by your Emperor?” countered Auric.

“I am not privy to all of the secrets of the Inquisition. I would imagine that there is some training involved as well.”

“Indeed there must be. For to successfully wield such forces without making yourself vulnerable to the manipulation of those who wait beyond takes decades, perhaps centuries of training.”

“Few humans have centuries to do anything, let alone train.”

“Alas, this is so, and it is one of the curses of your people, to be gifted with such power and yet never to have the time to fully master it. It is one of the reasons your race spends so much time blundering in the dark and causing so much harm to yourselves and to others.”

Discussion of human vs Eldar psykers. Auric comments that one reason humans are so vulnerable to the warp is because they lack sufficient time to properly train themselves (compared to Eldar). EG Brute force, all the way.

Darke comments that few humans could live for centuries to just study/train, implying that while they may live for centuries (EG Juvenat) it isnt enough to give over to evne a dedicated pursuit like that.

Page 113

Janus had no comeback to this so he ventured a question. “Are you a psyker?”

“I am. And as you can see I am not possessed by daemons.”

“I have only your word for that.” Janus sensed Athenys tense, as if she were preparing to attack. Auric calmed her with a flat chopping gesture of his hand.

“It is not possible for an eldar to be possessed by daemons, and live. We are protected from this fate in a hundred ways.”

Auric claims that Eldar are protected from daemonic possession in "a hundred ways". The exact methods or reasons aren't specified.

Page 113

“That may well be so, but please believe me I do not mean to be so. There is very little common ground between our people, far less than our superficial physical resemblances would suggest. I very much doubt that I could begin to understand the means by which you tap into the power. It took me years of meditation just to be able to light a candle. It took decades before I had enough power to slay a man and yet, in a few months, you have acquired a strength it would take our warlocks decades to reach.”

“He has been doing this with none of the sane and sensible safeguards our warlocks would use. It’s hardly surprising,” said Athenys, her voice cold and harsh.

“The warp calls to those whom it would swallow.”

“Nonetheless Janus Darke has come far, quickly, and has yet to be swallowed.”

Yet more contrast to human and eldar psykers. Auric seems to imply human psykers can (or are slowly becoming) a match for Eldar psykers (or at least, Darke is an example of such) but the development of that power is dangerously fast (months instead of decades).

Page 119

As the pain increased, Janus felt himself grow dizzy. Pictures began to form in his mind’s eye, pictures of masked eldar faces, and a spacecraft the size of a small continent limned against the gloom of space. He saw long sleek ships flash back and forth in the void, and towering war machines being born in its heart.

I assume the continent sized ships are craftworlds.

Page 119
“We have given you a dreamstone.”

“You could just have attached it to a pendant,” said Janus sourly.

“Normally that would be our way, but in your case it seemed wisest that it never leave close proximity to you. For maximum effectiveness it should be in contact with naked flesh. We have ensured that is always the case.”

Janus let out a long breath and strove for calm. It was obvious that at very least Auric’s claim to be a psyker was true. How else could he have fused this hardened stone to his flesh? The eldar continued to speak, seemingly unaware of the turmoil he had caused.

“We sometimes use this ritual with the very young among us, those likely to throw away a pendant or amulet, or swallow it, or use it as a toy. I apologise for treating you so, but under the circumstances it seemed like the easiest way. Your safety rather than your honour is our paramount concern.”

This implies Dreamstones are in fact, waystones. I find it odd and interesting that Ulthwe would have anyone tha thas the desire, much less the numbers to trade waystones in this fashion, so openly. nless the ones that are "sourced" from Ulthwe are taken by force from them by others (raids, assaults, etc.) Which in turn means that humans are stealing and bartering Eldar souls.

Not an activity designed to make the Eldar more prone to liking humans.

Page 120
“It is a talisman created in the heart of our world. It is grown from something similar to wraithbone. It is used to shield against the influence of Chaos. It guards the mind while you sleep and are more vulnerable to the subconscious lure of the Great Enemy. It provides protection against mind-altering effects. It should prevent you from becoming a vessel for any thing of the warp that sees you as a potential host, at least for a time.”

“It is a thing of great power then?”

“You should consider yourself greatly honoured. Granting possession of dreamstones is the prerogative of our seers and warlocks. Normally they are granted
only to those in whom they show great interest. You have been marked in a way that will let our people know that you are special to us. Should anything happen to Athenys or myself, others of the Old Race will act to shield you, should you encounter them.”

Dreamstones again seem to be similar to yet fundamentally different (in many ways) from waystones. Serving a similar purpose or having a similar capacity, yet being rarer or special and only given out infrequently. Again what and how is the trade in them a big issue in the Imperium?

It is also interesting Auric claims that the Eldar make them from Wriathbone, esp considering they cannot make Waystones (they have to be found naturally occuring on maiden worlds as I recall.) He is either lying, or this is something that makes dreamstones and waystones different (maybe the fact Dreamstones are hard to make is what makes them so precious.)

Page 123
Simon Belisarius carefully unrolled the ancient parchment, smoothed the cracking vellum flat on the tabletop and placed a paperweight at each corner. Charts and starmaps already covered the desk and table of his large cabin. Like all Navigators he was in possession of hard copies of all the necessary astrocartography.

After all, you could never tell when the ancient machine spirits might become temperamental and turn against you, or when a datacore might fail.

Simon had been trained to bring his ship home even if every navigational system on it failed, and the charts were normally just one extra way of ensuring this. But this map was special. It was his pride and joy, albeit a very dangerous one.

Plotting a course through the warp. Navigators normally (it would seem) use machien spirits and dacores and cogitators to do it, but they also have hardcopy bakcups of everything.. just in case. It is implied they have other redundancies as well (but never specified).

I suspect these same navigational systems may be used by a normal human (as Janus suggested doing), and may be what Chartist Captains do. It's slower because while they can do it, they lack the knowledge and abilities to make the fullest use of the equipment - which a Navigator DOES have.

Page 124
And this map was something special—a chart of warp currents through the Cadian Gate running into the Eye of Terror. He might not even have recognised it for what it was when he came across it in the antiquarians had he not spent every spare moment in the libraries of Belisarius when he was younger.

He gave a wry shake of his head thinking about the pleasure he had got from that. He had not possessed much spare time for rummaging about during his childhood and youth. From the age of three years old he had spent a minimum of twelve waking hours in training. First it had been exercises to discipline his body and mind—seven years of it. Next came seven years of higher learning—history, astronomy, various advanced mental disciplines and martial arts, all designed to strengthen his mind, his soul and his body for the rigours of his career. Then came the final seven years of studying the actual discipline of warp navigation, the ones that many did not even survive, let alone pass through. He did not want to think about those.

Navigator training.

Page 125
Once one of the librarians had told him that there were over a billion volumes in the library, a copy of almost every book released since the foundation of the Imperium and of millions of tomes printed or copied in the Dark Age that had preceded it.

"a billion volumes" of books and millons of tomes.. implied to be almost every book existing in the Imperium (at least since a certain era)

Page 125-126
He studied the chart laid out before him. To anybody but another Navigator it would simply have looked like an abstract geometric swirl of lines, curves, circles and arcs all linking a myriad of coloured dots and marked with hieroglyphs and runes.

To the trained eye, it was a complex mnemonic pattern that showed the principle flow lines of the immaterium in and around the Cadian Gate. Its near twin,
a chart displaying the local area, lay on the other table. On both, hazards and vortices were marked, and the various colours of line and surrounding inked backgrounds gave some clues as to the flow and texture of the immaterium.

Judging by the small scribe mark in the corner the information was several centuries out of date, but that did not matter too much. Currents and channels would have shifted but a little over that period unless marred by the most violent of warp storms. These things changed, but slowly, over millennia. Forces at play in the immaterium might temporarily obscure the channels but their essence would remain. If he could find an opening, he could use these routes.

He checked the chart of the Medusa system. It showed the fabric of space-time there had its flaws, as had every system. There were always points where it was easier to enter the immaterium and, more relevantly to his current problems, there were always approach vectors that made it easier to jump in certain directions. Like any other great starship the Star of Venam was capable of punching a hole in the fabric of space-time and entering the warp from any place outside the deep gravity well of a planet. But such a brute force method required enormous amounts of energy and placed colossal strain on the ship’s generators and power cores, and given how far they had to go, and how dangerous the journey was likely to be, Simon wanted to take no chances. Every small fraction of a decimal point he shifted the odds of success in their favour, the greater the probability of a safe return would be.

Simon observes and contemplates the warp map in and around the Cadian Gate. Despite being labelled a HEretic tome, I like this novel and this particular part because it offers a rare glimpse at the mechanics of Warp travel from the navigational perspective. Moreover this seems to hold true even in "modern" 40k, as it is playing into warp routes

The main points of interest is that most warp routes that are considered "stable" can shift with time (not unlike webway portals) but they won't shift much. I wonder if the shifting is meant to accomodate the changes in orbit and path planets and systems will make across the galaxy? Warp storms can distort or shift (temporarily) courses however, but the path remains there. Again Navigators are more important for improving the realiability and speed of passing through those courses, as well as predicting and adapting to nasty behaviour which may crop up en route, but it does not mean you can't travel without a Navigator (its just riskier)

The other important point is that not all entry/exit points are alike - they weren't always in same locales, some places are easier to access the warp than others, etc. This probably is due to differences in the thinness/thickness of the warp/realspace barrier, the interplay of celestial bodies and gravity in and out of the system (proximity to differnet sources as well as strength, etc.) and so on. This probably goes a long way to accounting for apparent discrepancies in how close or far from a planet (or within a system) ships enter or drop from the warp. The edge of the system, basically, is a simple and convenient place because it will usually be easy to enter or exit the warp, but it doesn't preclude emergence closer in, but as we see (like in Rynn's world) it gets more dangeorus the closer you go in,barring certain circumstances (or a good warp drive or a good navigator. Nevermind the potential dangers that close warp emergence/entrance may carry (disrupting or distorting stars, deliberately thinning or tearing the warp barriers around systems, leaking the immaterium into the system and risking possession, etc.)

The main thing is - there are no absolutes.

Page 126-127
I wonder if the Chaos worshippers have Navigators, he wondered briefly? There was no record of it, but that did not mean it was not so. In a lifetime of travelling the galaxy Simon had come across many strange things, and seen that many of the most cherished beliefs of his people were not necessarily always true under every circumstance.

There were Navigator Houses that had been expunged from the Imperial records but not from those of the Navis Nobilitae. Some of them had disappeared during the time of the Horus Heresy. It was possible they had gone over to the other side. These were dangerous thoughts, perilously close to heresy, so he dismissed them and returned to the task at hand.

Given what we know now there are at least some renegade, mercenary, if not outright chaos aligned navigators - either captured, deliberately fled, or perhaps even mutated during some accident. But that may not be the only way - We know the Thousand Sons had their own ways through sorcery, and some ships use daemons to aid in navigation, whilst others may ismply do what the orks do - trust to the Gods (and moods) of the immaterium to carry them wherever.

Page 127
He studied the chart of Medusa again, looking for the points where a jump off into the Eye of Terror would be easiest. That would take them closest to the entrance to the Cadian Vector, the great current of timeflow that swept in and out of the Cadian Gate, through gaps in the warp storms. If they timed things just right, if the current swept them in the proper direction, and if Simon managed the insertion of the vessel into the immaterium at exactly the correct time and place then timed their exit to perfection, there would be a chance of getting through. He did not want to think about the dangers of the return journey. The first priority was to get them to where
the eldar wanted to go.

He checked his rutters for more information about Medusa. Inscribed in the complex rune-mathematical notation of his House, they contained what he had divined of the currents between the systems, the vector and intensity of the Astronomican at approved temporal intervals and the hazards to be avoided. If they survived the trip he would make similar notations about Belial. A second voyage was usually easier than a first because you had some idea of the hazards that lay in wait.

Of course, this information would also be damning evidence of heresy as far as the Inquisition was concerned. He forced himself back from that line of thought to contemplate the relatively safe jump from Medusa.

More on navigation, this time emphasizing how the currents and timing play a role in navigation (both in dangers and, I suspect, speeding the trip) - some prediction seems to even be involved as well as mathematics.

Also, the more a warp route is used the more reliable (if not stable) it becomes, for whatever erasons. Belief may reinforce its stability (given the ability of large numbers of people/thought/emotions to influence the warp) or it may be that in some cases the dangers and such are routine and precitable enough they can be avoided. The warp, in other words, is not always hazardous - its just not guaranteed to always be safe.

Also the Inquisition considers some wapr routes to be heretical, and may suppress such information. This may also mean that warp route knowledge is amongst various organizations a deeply held secret from others.

Page 128
In his mind he pictured the chart of the Medusa system and its exit points, and one last time began the unimaginably complex calculations needed to throw the ship through the immaterium between them.

He was torn between two routes. His current choice took point alpha null twelve, and rotated the ship thirty degrees to the galactic plane twelve pulses of the Astronomican after insertion, so that they should catch the main current.

Alternatively, insertion at omega delta five with a twenty-nine point two rotation would achieve the same thing but with a possible great decrease in time of transit.

The system chart showed turbulence at the entry point there though, and a permanent vortex that you could fall into if you were not careful. Still, the turbulence could be used to give the ship more velocity if caught just right.

Another interetsing detail. Whilst in the warp, routes are not neccesarily straightforward or linear - they may have branching paths or courses, which probably explains why Navigators are useful - for making split second decisions like this (especially when time is important.)

Also turbulence and (presumably) currents in the warp can give addiitonal thrust, I gather this is one thing that good warp engines help using.

The basic idea you get is that a Navigator "plots out" the route he is going to take in his head, sort of a map/plan, then executes that plan during the warp transit, following it and making adjustments (or evasions) as needed to adapt for unforseen consequneces.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-12-24 12:50am

Part 2 of Farseer.. up to and including (mostly) the warp travel to the planet.. which frnakly is the most interesting part of the novel for me. Enjoy!

Page 128
He touched one of the control runes on his view screen and called up the ship’s present course. Perfect. The ship would reach the jump point within twelve hours on its present course. The time saved by using an easier breakthrough point would more than make up for the extra time spent in real space.

12 hours or so to reach edge of the system. double to triple digit gee accel, depending on exact distance.

Page 133
“The sight of it has not driven you mad?”

“That is because my people are different from the normal run of humanity. Over
millennia we have adapted to the warp. My pineal eye can gaze upon the immaterium
and comprehend it. My brain has been altered so that I can make sense of what I

“Has been altered?”

Simon flinched. With unerring accuracy she had put her finger on one of the
sore spots of the Navis Nobilitae. “Perhaps we evolved to be what we are. Perhaps in
the dim, distant past we were changed to enable us to perform our functions, in the
same way it is said, that the Emperor altered the primarchs.”
Simon knew that what he was saying was very close to what the Inquisition
would call heresy. Nonetheless, it was common enough talk in the sealed Houses of
the Navigators.

“I thought your Houses predated the appearance of the Emperor and his
primarchs. So at least my people say.”

“Perhaps—the origins of our guilds are lost in the mists of time. We only know
that in the early days, men used many means to navigate the warp. Drugs, psychic
powers, machines, all were tried with varying degrees of success.”

“And varying degrees of failure.” Once more that mocking smile appeared on
her lips.

“Such is implicit in having any degree of success less than perfect."

simon discusses the nature of the Navigators again,m as well as their origins. Interesting is the varying degree of warp travel humans have tried. Other races still use them.

Page 141
“You possess a very great power, Janus Darke, the like of which is manifested
in your species perhaps once in a thousand years. That alone makes you a prize worth
having for many creatures of the Old Night.”

A comment on Darke's rarity as a psyker.

Page 142-143
“The process of possession. Then they are seduced into using their power more
and more, strengthening the link between their souls and the warp, and then when the
link is strong enough, they are devoured.”

“What exactly do you mean by that?”

“The thing that wants them can reach through the link and consume their soul. It
is worse than that though for they then have an empty shell of a body and a mind
which is capable of being a vessel for a power.”


“Precisely, Janus Darke.”

“You are saying that this will happen to me?”

“It may happen to you. I fear though that—‘

“You are telling me there is something worse!”

“Unfortunately, yes. Normally a human body is not strong enough to hold the
essence of even the least of daemons for long. Even with the darkest and most potent
rituals of sorcery, the stress ages it and consumes it very swiftly. The body grows
older at an accelerated rate, mutation occurs, stigmata appear.”

“I have heard of such things.”

“Such would not be the case with you.”


“Because you are so powerful. Your body is a vessel fit for a daemon prince. It
could hold his essence for a very long time without showing any sign. A daemon
could wear your flesh and walk among men and do untold harm.”

Daemonci possession described. The really interesting bit is why Darke is such a special vessel - his body is better suited (for whatever reason) to tapping and holding greater power. It probably isnt anything to do with greater durability (unlike, say, a Space Marine) but perhaps his efficiency at "tapping" the warp is such he can draw more without suffering ill effects compared to other Psykers (less mutation, risk of insanity, risk of burnout, etc.)

Of additional interest is how this echose Thorian doctrines and their pursuit of suitable "vessels" for the Emperor's spirit. The Parallels are undeniable.

Page 144
“Perhaps—but his power is limited unless he can find a sufficiently powerful
vessel. He will only be able to leave the daemon worlds for short periods, as indeed
he can even now. But if he wears your flesh, he will become terrible. The harm he
will wreak will be incalculable. The destruction beyond comprehension.”

The strength of a vessel limits both the power it can manifest and ultimately the time it can spend on the plane. I imagine there is an inverse relationship between the two even moreso.

Page 144
“Shaha Gaathon is one of the greatest of the servants of He Who We Do Not
Name. He existed before the Great Enemy came. Since before the birth of his master
he has a terrible hatred for the eldar, and, I believe, he wishes to use your people as a
weapon against mine.

Seems paradoxical, but ultimately one must realize a Chaos God will have always existed in some form - not neccesarily a unified, sentient form, but it would exist. Slaanesh before his/her/its "birth" would have been just a bunch of unformed, unconscious desires, emotions, feelings, etc. It probably can still create and have daemons (lesse rawarenesses) tied to it, and it can affect and control other beings (like the Eldar) but it is not efficient at doing so, nor is it particularily malevolent or directed.

Page 144
“There are futures waiting to be born in which the followers of the Emperor will
turn on my people and destroy them utterly. There are timelines in which the eldar
respond with our forbidden and ultimate weapons and both races are so dramatically
weakened that Chaos overwhelms them.

“Your people are numberless as the grains of sand upon a beach. It does not
matter how powerful our weapons are, you will eventually overwhelm us, for the
Harbinger of the Lord of all Pleasures knows the location of all our hidden homevessels.”

Mention of Eldar having some doomsday weapons they haven't yet employed.

Really? you'd think if Slaanehs knew where all the Eldar were, they'd launch more attacks. It's not as if he/she/it doesn't have troops with access to starships.

Page 145
"I will tell you that the Unspeakable One is our own creation. He was born from our lusts and our passions, shaped by ourancestors’ use of what you would call psyker powers and technologies.”
“You are saying your people created the daemon gods of Chaos?”
“One of them.”
“That is not possible.”
“It is if you sacrifice an entire race.”


Auric shook his head. “I believe my people were deceived, just as yours might
be. They thought they were creating a new god, one who would lead them into a new
age of universal peace, plenty and harmony.”

Auric speaks of the Fall. What's interesting is that he hints it may have been deliberate - that they were trying to do something right, rather than just being a bunch of nutters. Of course, its possible this is waht they initially believed, but as time went on they went mad and it didn't matter anymore.

Of ocurse, they're STILL trying to create that god, so you have to wonder if they hadn't learned a lesson..

Page 146
“In a similar way.” Auric reached within his robe and produced a glowing gem
on a chain of silver metal. Strange runes glowed on it. It appeared to glow with all
colours and none. This is a waystone. Every eldar carries one. It is grown from the
same stuff as dreamstones. And for a similar reason.“

“I am sure you are going to tell me why.”

“It is a haven for my soul. When I die, my spirit will take refuge within it, and
the stone will be returned to my craftworld for inclusion within the infinity circuit
where it will join the surviving spirits of my ancestors.”

Janus considered this piece of pagan eldar theology. He supposed it made sense.
He doubted the souls of the xenogens would be in the keeping of the Emperor as
humans’ souls were. It was a strange idea though.

“Why do you need to imprison your soul within a machine?”

“It is not a machine as you understand it, but that is beside the point. If I were to
die and my spirit was to walk the paths of sha’eil, as our ancestors did in ancient
times, it would be devoured by He Who We Do Not Name, and as he consumed it,
the evil one would become that fraction stronger, just as he did in days long gone.”

“Why does this not happen to humans?”

“How do you know it does not?”

“The Emperor protects us.”

“You have answered your own question then,”

Waystones are different than dreamstones, at least. Also this is implied (by Auric) that the Emperor serves a useful function in shielding humanity from being utterly consumed by daemons - sort of like waystones do for the Eldar. In turn I imagine Orks gods (and Tyranids Hivemind) offer them similar protection to thei rrespective races.

The Tau don't seem to have much of a warp connection, so they are less vulnerable, but I imagine the Greater good (and to an extent thge Ethereals) which seem to offer protection (at least going by the Fire Warrior novel.)

The Necrons have the 'Ctan, but they operate on other principles anyhow.

Page 147
“My gifts are not as infallible as you or many of my own people seem to
believe. I see possibilities only. There are billions of untold billions of probability
paths that lead just from this day. The futures they birth are myriad and uncertain
until the day they become fixed and concrete, a process of alchemy as subtle and
complex as any magic spell. I am granted glimpses of what might be, or what may
come to pass. Sometimes the things I see are warnings, sometimes near certainties
unless actions are taken.”

“So you can try and shape the future.”

“That is the nub of it, Janus Darke. I can try and shape the future. But I am not
the only one who can do this. There are many others also trying to see that their
visions come to pass and many of them are far stronger than I.”

“Other farseers?”

“Yes, among others. Not the least being our enemies.”

Farseeing and precog in general. One of the big things that mucks up the ability to read the future (or manipulate it) is that the Farseer is not the only person doing it - others (DAemons, other psykers, etc.) are doing so, and it all just interacts and complicates things. Which is a whole nother layer of warfare occuring beyond the normal world - farseers and others fighting for the future, so to speak.

It also suggest that its possible that,t rhough influencing the warp, one can skew or distort (or even misdirect) others abilities to read it.

Page 150
First came the saline drips that would keep him from dehydrating if the trip
should prove to be a long one. Next came the nutrient fluids to keep him from
wasting away. Then came the other ones, the ones to prepare his mind and body for
the task at hand.

Warmth flowed through his veins and brought with it a sense of well-being.
Simon was skilled enough at his job that he did not need the aid of drugs to enter
temporal meditation, but you could never tell what accidents might arise to snap you
out of it; sometimes artificial aids were needed. Now his skin tingled as various
potent psychotropic agents were added to the mix, heightening some of his senses
nearly unbearably while others were turned off. His tongue and lips went numb. His
sense of his own body receded. Now he felt like he was in control of a flesh puppet,
tugging its strings from a very long way away and watching it respond to his

Life support functions maintaining Simon whilst he's doing his Navigator duties. Note the use of drugs and such to enhance abilities. Almost implies an out of body like feeling.

Page 151
Simon’s distant fingers stabbed at the control runes once more, and the Navigator’s chair and the platform on which it rested rose smoothly upwards into the dome, that small ultra-hard sphere of translucent crystal that was the only place on the ship any human would be able to look out onto the warp.

The crystal was harder than any substance known to man, tougher even than duralloy or ceramite. The disc beneath his throne fitted into the opening perfectly and now Simon knew he was truly alone.

Navigator dome.

Page 152
He reached out with his disjointed senses and made contact with the ship.
Strangeness flowed over him. He sensed other presences, echoes of old thoughts,
shadows that might be those of ghosts. He knew that he was encountering psychic
debris, residue of those who had occupied the throne before him, just as those who
would come after him would encounter the shade of what had once been Simon

These presences were not without utility. They whispered old secrets in his
brain, fed him the slimy residue of long forgotten memories, gabbled warnings and
lies and pleas and welcomes. They thought they were real, but they were not, they
were phantoms looking for lodging in his brain, and the only reality they had was that
which he gave them. After a moment they stopped and he seemed to be looking down
a long avenue at a near endless procession of men and women. Those nearest to him
were clearest, for they were the most recent. Those in the distance were vague and
formless as blobs. As one, they whispered.

Simon (and presumably other Navigators) have to connect into and link with the ship whilst they navigate through the warp. Again parallels between Titans and their operators must be made in how the ship seems to have a sort of sentience, but also to be imprinted with teh thoughts/feelings of other Navigators that have come before, which can be a help or a hinderance.

As we know from other sources, Captains, senior Magos, and other ships crews may "plug in" to the ship's AI/machine spirit to connect with it as well. So it's not just hordes of menials pulling on chains or cranking levers that runs a ship - at least, not the fundamental activities.

Page 152-153
His heart was an ancient fire, hot as the sun. His eyes were replaced by
divinatory probes allowing him to see far higher and lower into the spectrum than
ever his body’s eyes could. He extended his range of vision until it encompassed
everything within a hundred thousand kilometres. He was aware of meteorites
centimetres long, and ten million tonne chunks of cometary ice tumbling through the
endless cold darkness. He looked around with greater senses and saw nothing. No
pursuers, no trading ships, no vessels of any kind. Hardly surprising; the jump point
he had chosen was not one most people would have picked. It was the easiest route to
a path along which no one sane wanted to travel, to a destination none but a madman
would want to go.

Connected to the ship... visual range up to 100 k km... This makes me wonder if perhaps this is how Navigators can "detect" other ships and vessels, as implied earlier as well as implied in the Rogue Trader RPG - it certainly seems to suggest it there. The Navigator's Eye and other talents may bolster this ability when connected ot the ship, even. This could account for various "FTL-like" detection feats sometimes seen in novels.

PAge 153-154
He drew on some of his inner strength and opened himself fully. Slowly things
started to resolve themselves. He began to perceive the faint flaws on the surface of
reality, tiny scratch marks where the stuff of beyond seeped into the normal universe.
He saw the line of attack the ship would have to be forced into to achieve his chosen

He fed power to the engines for the first immersion, that brief submersion into
the warp that would enable him to see that all was well or, if it were not, to abort the
whole process of making the jump. He saw faint streaks appear on the horizon as the
ship began to sink out of normal space.

This was the tricky part, getting things just right, so that if they hit a rip or a
temporal whirlpool, he would still have a chance to pull the ship free before any real
damage was done. He knew the chances of such a thing happening were thousands to
one, but a good Navigator took no chances. He applied full power to the drives.

The ship screamed as it slid down the pathways out of reality. In Simon’s third
eye, the black of space began to curdle as tendrils of multi-coloured light reached out
to grasp the ship. He saw that they were slipping out of normal time altogether into a
realm where everything was different. As always it took moments for him to adjust.

For a second he felt a flash of pure nervous fear. This was the time all Navigators
dreaded, when they were almost blind, like a man who has been kept in a dark pit
having to adjust to sudden brilliant light. Perceptions other than hearing let him
perceive the keening whine of the engines, a wail like that of lost souls, and the first
faint echoes of the celestial song of the psychic choir that surrounded the Emperor
and powered the mighty beacon of the Astronomican.

So far, so good, he thought. The ship slid along the very brink of the abyss, at
the gateway between the two realms. He slowed the flow of power to the drives with
an impulse of his will, and let the ship glide along the boundary. By cutting power
now, he could still abort the departure. He opened his pineal eye to the fullest and
took stock of his surroundings.

Preparations for the jump into the warp.

Page 155
Things were as he expected. There were no obstructions, no probability wakes
from other ships to drive him off course, conditions were as propitious as they were
ever going to get. Now was the moment of truth; now he had to decide whether to
commit the ship to the jump.

Final authority on warp transit belongs to the Navigator.

Page 155
Prayer completed, he pulled the brass lever that would feed full power to the
drives. The ship began to race forward, sliding down through the flaws in the surface
of reality, immersing itself into the vast sea of the warp. Simon felt a glorious surge
of acceleration and a spurt of sheer stark terror as the ship hurtled out into the void.
This was no tentative touch but a full thrust through the fabric that joined two

Warp jump. There apparently is a noticable bit of acceleration, the source of which isn't specified. maybe that's another reason they need energy.

Page 156
Slowly, the random patterns subsided as his brain projected its own framework of understanding onto the immaterium. Now he saw it as something like real space only in negative. Black stars glittered against a background of grey and white. Huge nebula of darkness rotated above him.

As he adjusted, more colours became visible and the scale became more intimate and more turbulent. He began to perceive patterns within patterns. The ship drove forward now through shifting shoals of lights. The denser shifting spheres were clusters of worlds and solar systems.

His sense of the size of things had altered. He felt like a giant who could see halfway across creation. He saw the currents of the warp, those secret roadways of the cosmos that could lead you anywhere at all if you were not careful.

Simon's perception of things from the warp. Note that it is, technically, possible to detect things in realspace from the Warp... it just is detected by the density or clusters of people there (their warp presences, so to speak) Other things though, oddly, are detectable - stars (black things), nebula, etc. I wonder if perhaps their presence there is due to gravity or something in gravity that has a reflection in the warp. Hard to say.

Page 156-157
He remembered old Caradoc’s words: Heaven, hell, the past, the future, Navigators have claimed to have seen them all, and the strange thing is that they probably did.

Some theorists had posited that these were merely hallucinations, strange dreams drawn from the depths of the Navigator’s brain and painted on the blank canvas of the void.

Others actually held that the immaterium was the primal Chaos on which the
universe was built, and that what the Navigators saw actually came into being
somewhere at some time. And that being the case, since it actually did or would exist,
a path could be found to it. Some held that this was the way Navigators actually
found their way through the void.

As always, Simon found that theory did not exactly match reality. The void was
there and he saw things swirl within it. He saw portents, omens and pathways and
wild, hallucinations like the worst fever dreams of a weirdroot addict. He could by
dint of prodigious concentration alter them slightly, but he found that they interacted
with him in strange ways. Images he saw would suggest something to his mind, and
thus alter his visualisation of his path. If he was projecting his will onto the
immaterium, he felt that no less was it projecting something of itself into his mind. It
was an experience too complex to be accounted for by the dry theories of the
scholars. It was too real, too vivid. Ultimately you had to go through it to begin to
comprehend it. No simulation, no lectures, no training could prepare you for the
totality of the experience.

Theories about the nature of Chaos and such, as well as implications that Navigators can foretell the future.

Page 157
He focused his mind, seeking the one fixed point of stability, the mighty beacon of the Astronomican. It took him some time to lock on to it. It seemed very faint and far away. Somewhere far off, he heard the faint chorus of the psychic choir, then he heard the first faint pulse of the Astronomican as the mighty psychic beacon’s signal echoed down the canyons of infinity.
He paused for a moment, to make sure that he really had fixed his position with relation to distant Terra. Many a ship had foundered when its Navigator took position from something he thought was the beacon, and was in fact some other astral phenomena or worse a lure set by
pirates, wreckers or the spawn of Chaos.

The Beacon of the AStronomicon is the most powerful and stable fixed point in the Imperium, used as a reference point for navigating. But Simon notes that it is possible forit to be mistakne for other things (astral phenomena can appaently project some sort of disturbance that emulates it into the warp) and pirates or Chaos raiders might try to devise some trap by setting a false lure.

The fact that false phenomena or lures can be made suggests that artificial "secondary beacons" can be made - I suspect this is what the astropathic relays or ducts are supposed to be, adiditional, shorter-ranged "fixed points" a Navigator can lock onto and navigate by. It also suggests that while stars, systems, and such can be seen from the warp, this does not tell you what systems they may or may not be - especially given how relative perception can be in the Warp.

Page 157-158
From the hidden sub-basements of his mind he brought up pictures from the charts he had been studying earlier. Now, superimposed on his view of the warp, they made far more sense. Triangulating from his entrance wake at Medusa and the position of the Astronomican, he located Belial IV. It did not look good. The world lay somewhere within the edges of the Eye, and the Eye did not feel calm today.

Now he gave his attention to the thing he dreaded. He cast his gaze ahead along the path he had chosen. There lay the mighty spiral vortex of the Eye of Terror, a huge whirlpool of energy, a massive unending sea of warp storms. The best he could hope to do was to find a patch of relative calm and guide his ship through the eye of the storm. It would be a feat worthy of a master Navigator.

I would imagine that the super-imposing is comparing the map image to what the Immaterium "shows" (or is perceived to show - perceptions being relative here.) - those clusters of lights and life (or the dark patterns of stars/nebulae) are also rference points, in other words.

This carries an interetsing implication that, as long as you hae reference points and understand what various things in the warp represent, you actually could spy on or observe activity in a system from the warp.

Page 158
The ship yawed as he sought the first of the warp streams that he hoped would carry him to his destination. He felt the tug of the current as it bore him towards the Eye of Terror.


The vessel shook now as the current took hold. He communed with the spirits of
the datacore. Fair going, the electric ghosts whispered. The ship can take it. Well
within the tolerances she was built for. The sense of speed built within him as the
ship accelerated towards the Eye.

Propulsion from warp streams. WE learn that the durability and strength of a ship play a role in how fast or how much it can be "pushed" through the warp. Endurance matters as much as other factors, evne when you have great wards and gellar fields.

Page 159
Simon corrected his course for what he hoped was a passage between them, then realised that he was heading towards a fast-forming temporal whirlpool. Here the energies of the immaterium
were being sucked out into real space somewhere in a swirling vortex of madness that could easily destroy a ship that fell into its clutches. Worse, such vortices often led directly into long fast-flowing tunnels that could emerge almost anywhere, including, it was speculated, the heart of a sun. Frantically, he wrestled the ship away from the deadly current.

He almost managed it. The Star clipped the very edges of the vortex and began to spiral inwards. Simon cursed the mad flows of the immaterium through the Eye. He was encountering more hazards on this one trip than was normal for a year in normal travelling.

Implies that the transit time is far less than a year. It also implies most normal warp journeys are far less than a year.

Also warp vortexes, which seem to be warp gates/portals and other various interfaces seen from the other side (likened to the drain in a sink, I suppose.)

Page 160
The ship slid into the chosen channel. The retreating warp current carried it through the tempests of energy. Now the flows were behind, adding their own power to the engines of the ship. The Star of Venam hurtled through the immaterium towards its goal.

More thrust provided by the currents/flows of the warp, adding to those of the warp engines. Yet another variable that can affect warp speeds.

Page 162
He had heard it said that the daemons of the warp devoured any souls they encountered save those of Navigators. Somehow, it seemed that his people were invisible to the creatures as long as they did nothing to attract their attention. Had he discovered one of the secrets of why his people could live where others could not?

Simon speculates that Navigators MAY be invisible to Warp creatures so long as they don't draw attnetion to themselves. quite probably and probably deliberate, givne what they need to do. it would be dangerous if Navigators got possesssed while navigating the warp.

Page 163
In his ears the ghosts gibbered, shrieking warnings. This ship was now the only home they would ever have, and if it died, so did they. It did not matter to them that they were merely resonances of dead men within the ship’s datacore.

confirmation that there are dead thoughts/imprints left in the ship's memory.

Page 163-164
Would it make sense to try and tear the ship from the immaterium now, cast it out of the warp before it achieved the angle of exit he had decided upon? That strain also might destroy them. And if the ship were damaged by a forced exit, then there would be no drydock in which to execute repairs here in the Eye of Terror. That would leave the choice of trying to make another
jump with a crippled ship, or being stuck within the realm of the Chaos lords. Not
really much of choice at all, he decided.

How much longer till they hit their exit vector? Judging as best he could by the position of the Astronomican, not that much longer in the subjective time of the ship. He could almost see the dull cluster of lights that he guessed was Belial system. He made up his mind. If he crippled the ship coming out of the warp prematurely, there would be no chance of survival. They would simply have to repeat this performance in a ship already partially broken. He decided to stay running with the warp current for the time being. If it looked like the shields were going to give way, he would
make the break then.

Emergence (as wlel as probably entry) to the warp seems to be accompanied with its own sort of strain, especially emergency exits, probably from the speed/force with which portals may be opened (or need to be opened.) This may be another reaosn why entry points that are "thinner" or "easier" to open may be desirable - they put less of an overall strain on the ship.

Page 166-167
The ship heeled and rocked. It began to move in a direction that Simon could only describe as upward, heading away from the depths of the immaterium, up towards the light of the real world.

The current fought against it, and the daemons fought against it, but Simon knew they were
fighting now against the natural tendency of a product of the normal sane universe to
return to its point of origin. It bobbed upward like an air-filled bladder heading
towards the surface of the sea.

The daemons screamed in frustration as they reached an area where the
immaterium was too thin to support all but the most powerful of them.


Then it was suddenly too late, the ship had settled into the groove
that would take it out into normal space.

Emergence into realspace.. analogy I guess is like a submarine coming ot the surface.

Page 169
He snapped open his eyes and exhaled, then glanced at the chronometer on his
wrist. The hands indicated that eighteen hours had passed in subjective time. He
would need to wait until they contacted another ship or world to find out how much
time had passed in reality. The discrepancy could sometimes be immense. He
remembered one trip in which two weeks had passed aboard ship, but only two days
in real time. There had been another when he had been in the immaterium for barely
two hours according to the ship’s chronometers, but three months had passed in the
real universe.

Comment on the discrepancy between shipboard and "normal space" time due to the temporal wonkiness of the Warp.. variations can go either way it seems.

Page 171
Simon allowed himself a satisfied smile. Point of emergence was only a few hundred thousand kilometres off, which was nothing in terms of the cosmic magnitude of the jump. The shields had taken more wear and tear than he would have liked. Still, considering how close they had come to being overwhelmed, they should be grateful.

Being "off target" by a light second or so is not significant, at least in Simon's assessment. Shows yet another danger perhaps in warp transits if you come out too close to a celestial body.. if you are displaced too much in one direction or another you migth run into it. Yet another reason why you want to stay out in empty space. (of course one wonders why ships don't just emerge above or below the plane of a system and move in..)

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-12-24 01:10am

Oh and one more.. 'hilarious' appendix. You remember the EoT mass lightening stuff I discussed? Well I started reading 'a thousand Sons' I ran across this interesting little gem early on..

A Thousand Sons, page 14 wrote:Surrounding the rumpled skirts of the Mountain, scattered collections
of raised stones, each taller than three men, were gathered in loose circles. Such monuments should have been towering achievements, incredible feats of engineering by a culture without access to mechanical lifting equipment, mass-reducing suspensor gear or the titanic engines of the Mechanicum.

By itself it doesnt really say much. But when we pair it with another quote from Soul Drinkers.. we get some useful conclusions

[quot="Soul Drinker, page 126"]
K'Shuk drew the sword. It seemed impossibly light in his gauntleted hand and Sarpedon's enhanced hearing picked out the faint hum of tiny gravitic motors as the immense blade swung over the interrogator's shoulder. Suspensor units, one in the pommel, one at the tip of the blade. The sword would be light enough to lift with a finger, but utterly unbalanced and so difficult to use that most martial treatises considered such weapons to be useless in combat.

K'Shuk span again and this time the sword hit home, the massive broad blade carving up into Sarpedon's abdomen. Red pain stabbed up from the wound, but Sarpedon knew he would survive, knew he would go on fighting.


Gradually, as Sarpedon met K'Shuk's blows, he saw the fun­damentals of the suspensor-blade art. On an upward cut the blade could take flight thanks to its anti-grav units and spiral out of the wielder's hands, so K'Shuk's upward swings were limited. It was difficult to change the direction of the blade suddenly, so every sequence of attacks had to be made up of strikes mat flowed into one another - it was fast and no doubt pretty to watch, but it cut down K'Shuk's options. The inter­rogator compensated with speed, but Sarpedon was fast, too.[/quote]

Soul Drinker, page 128 wrote:The suspensor blade escaped his grasp and fluttered like a leaf to the floor where, with delicate slowness, the monomolecular blade sunk up to half its length in the flagstones.

More suspensor tech... basically the blade is lightweight to lift or hold up against gravity but.. it still retains its momentum making it hard to control properly. It's a two handed sword., its not exaclty being handled like it was a rapier, meaning it retains its actual mass and momentum.

There is also rogue Trader's RPG regarding suspensors.

Rogue Trader Core rules, page 134 wrote:These anti-grav plates and studs attach to a weapon or equipment, making the use of heavy or cumbersome devices much easier by offsetting some of their weight. They are often used by elite troops on their heavy weapons. Suspensors reduce the weight of a weapon by one-half. When firing a weapon with suspensors, the operator counts as having the Auto-stabilized Trait—he always counts as braced...

The rules are very specific what 'weight' is:

Page 114
Wt (Weight): Represents how much the weapon weighs,
normally in kg (kilograms).

this means that in any of the systems, a lasgun (weighing 4 kg) with a suspensor would weigh 2 kg. Effectively 'mass reduction' of a sort. Again its not meant to be conclusive, but it is strongly suggestive.

And of course there were the inertial stabilizers on the Thunderbolt Cruiser as per Space Fleet:

Space Fleet wrote:The Thunderbolt cruiser is remarkably manoeuvrable for a ship of its size. This is due to its unique inertial stabilisers.

These stabilisers use a similar technology to the anti-gravity devices found in weapon suspensors. They offset the effects of mass and inertia and allow the Thunderbolt to turn much faster and in a much tighter circle than other Imperial ships of its size.

Yet more confirmation of suspensors 'mass reduction' like from Thousand Sons.

Now this isn't conclusive of course, but.. really.. this is the only known 'mass reducing' tech we have. WE have no reason to believe any other form exists, and the uses/capabilities explained in Eye of TError fit fine with what is described in all the quotes above (it reduces the amount of thrust needed for the ship to escape a planet, basically.) Nothing indicates it is used for anything beyond that, or that it has any other role except for that. If it literally alters 'mass' in any way the difference is not significant (which fits with what I have already alluded to) but that depends on the properties of 'mass' that are being modified.

All in all I dont expect it to change the minds of those who really have ulterior motives when it comes to the mass ligthening issue, but as far as it concerns me the 'mass lightening' issue is settled until further evidence crops up to complicate or contradict it.,

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-12-31 02:02pm

And.. the final part of Farseer. Pity like I said, because it leaves it on a real cliffhanger. It would have made an interesting Eldar-centric novel, and we have too few of those.


Page 172
“How long till we make orbit over Belial IV?” asked Janus.

“Two days or so. I had to bring us in at the edge of the system, and there was a
little more deviation than usual in the jump.”

2 days to reach the inside of the system. At 1 AU it would only take a few gees of constant thrust, and less than 1% the speed of light. 6% of c and maybe 20 gees if we go with the "billions of km" figure.

Page 181
It was as if every soul who had passed through her duralloy corridors had left some trace of its passage.

And there had been many, many souls he realised in the long millennia since the
ancient starship had been built. Images seeped into his mind. He saw the previous captains in the uniforms of the Imperial fleet. He saw the battles they had fought and the trips they had made. He
saw back to the original creation of the ship back in the forge yards of Sidon 452
almost two thousand years ago.

He sensed the spirits who slept within the datacore of the ship, echoes of past
commanders, shadows of Navigators long gone, and he saw that they were restless.

Age of the ship, and again comment that Navigators (if not the starship captains themselves) leave mental imprints inside the ship's computer core itself from being connected to it. I imagine what might be observed here (and may explain examples of ghosts and such and hauntings) is that humans in 40K (and other entities) quite simply leave psychic resonances or impressions on things of varying strengths, and someone who has at least some psychic talent or sensitivity may pick up on these things or even see them.

In that context, and if you don't really understand the warp, its easy to see why things like superstition and fear might originate. Humans are always willing to make up explanations that satisfy their fears and curiosities if others can't provide them.

Page 182
The only thing that remained impermeable to its eyes was the outer walls of the ship itself. It
was hardly surprising, they had been embedded with the strongest psychic runes to
resist the daemons of the warp, and forged from triple-layered truesilver and duralloy
to prevent the incursion of evil psychic forces from the warp.

The psychic/warp defenses of the ship. Passive ones, rather than active ones like the Gellar field.

Page 189
In some of them, the humans won their war and destroyed the eldar of Craftworld Ulthwe. In others, they were themselves destroyed when the xenogens deployed weapons of apocalyptic power. In all of the timelines though, destruction was wrought on an enormous scale by the
thing that wore Janus Darke’s body.

More farseeing and more mention of Eldar doomsday weapons.

Page 199 - they observe the planet from the Star of Venam using "long range holoscopes"

Page 201
He leaned back on his throne and watched the old man begin the first of the ritual human sacrifices that would ensure they passed safely through the warp.

use of human sacrifices to facilitate warp passage. one of the ways Chaos does it, in other words.

Page 204
Janus gestured and their point of view dropped closer. As it did so, he once more began to get some idea of the scale of the building and the bridge. The building was larger than the Star of Venam, a city contained within a city.

Considering the Star is likely either an escort or a cruiser, the building (a temple I suspect) is km across itself.. and the city is described as "monstrous" - vastly bigger than that itself. the city is probably 10+ or more km across...

Page 204
“It is a sword. About the height of a man and made entirely of black crystal.”

“Won’t that break on the first swing, sir,” said someone. Other voices laughed.

“Apparently not. Apparently it is hard enough to cut through duralloy and
strong enough to endure the destruction of a world. I am quoting our eldar friends
over there.”

The Eldar are looking for a magic crystal sword.

Page 210
Once I would have brought down nearly a thousand. There would have been dozens
of shuttles, tanks, artillery, all of the things a rogue trader needed to show uncivilised
savages the might of the Imperium.


Still, his men were not to blame. Such things were part of the mythology of the
rogue trader. Had not Herman Bloch conquered the whole of the Zacatan continent
with only 150 men and one Rhino APC? Kyle Langer had brought Kallista into the
Imperium with a thousand troopers, and that had been an armed industrial world. In
better days, he himself had contributed something to those Imperial legends, and
those men over there still believed in him, at least a little.

DArke contemplates his forces in the old days compared to now.

Page 214-215
Images began to spin through his mind. He hovered over the city as it had once
been, in the days when mighty spirit engines had provided it with power. He saw a
wonderful place filled with beautiful, peaceful people. He saw long crystalline ships
flying through the sky. He saw sorcerers draw on the energy of massive psychic
engines to raise vast starscraping towers whose sides were smooth as glass and
stronger than steel. He saw an age of peace and plenty when the eldar dreamed their
alien dreams of perfection and splendour underneath the light of an uncorrupted sun.
He saw great webs of energy lace the land. He saw hidden highways being
woven between the stars. In a heartbeat he understood the answer to one great
mystery—why eldar ships were never encountered in the warp. They used other
pathways, built by the ancients, in a time before the Imperium was even born. He
caught a glimpse of the arrival of mighty liners and enormous trading caravels from
other worlds, and he began to realise the reach that eldar civilisation had once

Centuries passed, then millennia, and the cities grew. As they did so the images
became darker, the people more debauched. More and more power brought greater
and greater wealth and luxury, and that in turn, brought spiritual corruption. He saw
the eldar grow corrupt. He saw great orgies of indulgence and torchlit rallies where
painted prophets spoke words of wickedness to a willing audience. One of them
seemed somehow familiar. It was not anything about his appearance: it was his aura.
It was the same as the daemon Janus had encountered in his last vision. It was in
some strange way Shaha Gaathon or someone possessed by him. He moved through
the crowds talking and preaching, hidden by potent spells from even the psychic
senses of the eldar. The Harbinger of Slaanesh, come to prepare the way for the god’s

He saw the hidden daemon preach. Many listened, perhaps the majority, for his
words were persuasive and his presence great.

A few of the eldar had some presentiment of the disaster. Some turned their
faces from the dark and prepared to flee their worlds in great arks, but most stayed
and so were doomed. Others, the priests who had built this temple, who also saw
gathering doom, remained and tried to preach against the corruption. When this
failed, they retired to its depths to forge a weapon against what was to come. Using
engines of awesome power, they forged a sword that was not a sword, but a captured
echo of the death force of the universe bound into the shape of a blade. Then they
waited for their doom to come upon them.

The days grew darker, strange savage rites stained the streets with blood, and
eldar hunted eldar for pleasure through the streets of the city. Red garbed priests rose,
preaching the coming of a new god, a deity created by the eldar themselves, who
would lead them into an age of ever greater wonders and life everlasting. Janus did
not know how he understood what was going on, but he did. It unreeled before his
eyes like scenes from a vast pageant. Over it all brooded the smiling enigmatic face
of Shaha Gaathon.

There came a day when a mighty ritual was performed under the supervision of
those perverse and dedicated priests, the ritual they promised would usher in a new
age of even greater splendour and pleasure. He saw the faces of the crowd aglow as
they watched the rituals being performed. He saw the creation of mighty vortices of
energy linked between many worlds. He saw the pride and the power written on
every face, and then saw the horror enter their expressions as the watchers realised
that something had gone wrong.

Lightning flickered, black clouds raced across the sky. The sun’s rays reddened
and a blood-coloured light illumined the crowds. Janus sensed something grow. As
the ritual took place, something was born: something dark and evil and terrible. From
the vortices, shafts of light lanced out, striking at every eldar, extending tentacles into
every soul, reaching out to grasp every being on the surface of the planet. He saw the
eldar scream with a mixture of pleasure and horror as the summoned thing drew the
very life from them, consuming their souls and their bodies, reducing them to a fine
powder of ash that blew away in the wind. With each death, with every soul it
absorbed, the dark thing grew stronger and stronger.

The priests emerged from the shrine of Asuryan, armed with their weapon that
had been so long in forging. It was a blade that glowed brighter than the sun, and was
pregnant with the power of death, a blade powered by the mighty spirit engines that
slept beneath the temple. They came for Shaha Gaathon, the dark prophet. The leader
of the priests cut and wounded him, and the prophet vanished, fleeing beyond their
reach. Filled with triumph the eldar high priest turned on the newborn god.
He struck the growing thing and wounded it, but it was not enough. The new
being was too strong. It threw itself at the priests and consumed them, and they died
screaming in ecstasy and horror. The few that survived snatched up the sword and
were driven back within their fortress temple. They forced closed the doors, but not
even the mighty seals they invoked could save them. The tentacles of the dark god
reached into the heart of the temple, found them and consumed them. All save the
one who bore the blade, who sealed himself into the ultimate sanctuary beneath the
temple and vanished behind its spell walls.
And the day of destruction came. And so was Slaanesh born. A daemon god
birthed by the dark side of the eldar soul, a composite being composed of every
single life-force it had devoured. He knew now why the eldar feared and hated the
Lord of Pleasures so.

A vision of pre-fall Eldar society and the Fall.

Page 219
Simon sensed that something was wrong. He strode across the command deck,
dropped into the Navigator’s chair and began hooking himself up. He had felt a slight
disturbance in the fabric of space-time, the sort that any Navigator associated with
either the arrival or departure of a ship.

Simon hooks in to do some scanning.. he can detect it from outside of the ship, but I gather the ship enhances those senses to make the detection better.

Page 219-221
By this time Simon had already patched himself into the command chair, and
was reaching out with the sensors to scan the space all around them. He concentrated
for a moment, and picked up the spoor. There! Space rippled where a discontinuity
had been established. He extrapolated the inbound course from the probability wake
and found his worst fears confirmed. There was no way that ship had leapt in from
anywhere outside the Eye. It must be a native.

He could almost feel the tingle of the immaterium. A further heartbeat of
scanning located the enemy vessel. He had not yet achieved visual contact but he did
not need to. The probing fingers of his sensors told him the exact shape of the vessel
right down to the last tiny gun turret.

She looked old but huge, a warship of the most ancient Imperial design. From
memory he called up all the blueprints and he could see she did not quite conform.
Changes had been made. Turrets had been added here and there, and weapons of a
pattern with which he was not familiar. Gargoyles encrusted the hull like barnacles.
A massive head grinned from the prow. It was shaped like the tip of an enormous
horned phallic member bearing the scowling features of some ancient daemon. No
mistaking what it was at all, it was a vessel of the slaves of darkness and it appeared
to be coming for them.

Simon took another look at its wake. There was something disturbing about it,
something touched by evil, and he was not sure what it was.

He was certain that whatever propelled the ship was no wholesome power.
There was something about it that caused him enormous unease, that reminded him
of those things he had seen in the warp. The whole thing reeked of old evil. Was it
possible for a ship to be possessed, he asked himself?

Why not? If human flesh could be possessed, why not ancient steel? If the mind
of a man could be devoured by daemons, why not a datacore? Who knew the limits
of the powers of Chaos, particularly here in the Eye of Terror, at the very heart of
darkness? He barked out more orders to the men, telling them to ready their weapons.
The chanting of the tech-adepts increased as they prepared the ship’s systems for
action. The deck vibrated as massive bulkheads began to seal.

He continued to study the Chaos craft. His current assessment was that the Star
of Venam might well be overmatched. The enemy ship looked to be based on a
heavily modified version of the Iconoclast class of destroyer. It appeared to be much
slower than normal which hinted that it was much more heavily armed and armoured
than the basic version. Studying it closely, he could see that there were many odd
things about it, a hint of subtle wrongness that made his flesh creep.

Simon detects than observes the emergence of a Choas ship from the warp. What' s interesting is that this seems to be basically FTl and it accompanies some sort of identifiable silhouette or image of some kind to extrapolate data from.

Also it is an iconoclast destroyer, which is believed to be better than Darke's ship. this may mean it is merely an escorte (frigate perhaps?) or a small cruiser with a smaller armament than its size would suggest.

The frigate also is more heavily armed and armoured at expense of speed, suggesting speed, defense and firepower are inversely related (and all draw on the same power source) much like we leran from other sources (Atlas Infenral, etc.)

Page 221
Given the circumstances, the best bet seemed to be to make a run through
normal space, hoping to lure the pirate into battle under more favourable conditions,
or to draw him out and lose him in the cometary halo, returning to pick up Janus
later. Simon quickly decided this was the best plan.

"“Mister Stack, take her out of orbit at 75 per cent speed. We want to bring those
Chaos bastards after us if we can."

Confirmation that the ship is still in orbit aroudn the planet. Note that teh starship is nowhere near close enough for the enemy to engage immediately, suggesting it is at least several light seconds away, and probably alot more. Again almost certainly *some* kind of FTL detection is going on.

Page 223

That would mean ordering the Pride of Sin to pursue it, which would mean
leaving somebody else on the command deck. Obviously that meant leaving no one
capable of interstellar navigation on the ship.


This was getting him no closer to solving his problem though. He picked Hralf,
one of his sergeants, a man who had on many occasions conned the ship but, as far as
Zarghan knew, had no idea whatsoever about interstellar navigation. More to the
point, he was as loyal as any man aboard.

Impiles that there are non-navigator crews on the ship capable of navigating the warp (at least short distances.) A smart Chaos Captain has mor than one crewer who can do that, but does not leave them in a position where they can steal the ship (obviously)

Page 226
The crew did not even know where we were till a few hours ago. It was impossible for them to have got a message out, not unless there was a rogue psyker aboard.

Could the enemy ship have ridden our probability wake without me noticing?

Implies that they might have gotten a warp message out to another enemy ship/system within a few hours. Assuming a 10-20 LY distance, that would be high tens/low hundreds of thousands of c. That's slow, but also note that we're talking a "rogue psyker" rather than an astropath. We know non-astropaths can send psychic signals FTL over some distance, but their ability is far weaker than what AStropaths can do (so the range, speed and reliability are doubtless weaker also.)

Also probability wake as a means of tracking ships through the warp.

Page 226-227
The ship was going to have to be destroyed. He did not relish the prospect of a
head-on attack but could not see any other way around it. It would be pointless trying
to rendezvous with Janus’s shuttle otherwise. The enemy ship would reduce it to so
much slag as it made the sub-orbital boost, and that was not taking into account any
damage the Chaos raider might do to the Star of Venam as it approached. Almost any
plan he could think of had too many risks.

Chaos ship (in orbit) could Slag Janus' shuttle in "sub orbital boost" (EG still inside the atmosphere.) - hundreds if not thousands of km away. Considering that shuttles are for all intents and purposes attack craft, we're talking attack craft grade weapons or attack craft ranges.

PAge 229
Zarghan was not joking, however. There was something about this place that really did fill him with the urge to demolish things. He would have liked nothing better than to order a strike from the Pride of Sin on this accursed city, and he decided that as soon as the prize was taken that was exactly what he would do. He did not ask himself the reason for this extraordinary hatred; he just knew it was so. Smashing this place to fragments, reducing it to rubble, would give him great
pleasure, and that was all a follower of Slaanesh needed to know.

orbital strike from an Iconoclast destroyer (albeit a heavily armed one) can obliterate an Eldar city (pulverize, rther than slag, in context), We dont know if it is a single shot or a broadside, and we don't know the exact size of the city (except it might be as large or larger than Janus' starship, implying t least several km.)

PAge 230
Even as Janus watched through his night-vision magnoculars...

Janus has night vision binocs.

PAge 233
“Find them for me. Find our prey!” Zarghan was gratified when the psyker did
not ask how. It should be easy enough, after all. Aside from his own warriors, the
ones they sought must be the only sentient beings on this continent.

Malarys closed his eyes and prepared to share his flesh with the daemon. He did
not look too pleased, which was understandable since doing so would age him a year
in a day, but he was not foolish enough to offer any protest to his master.

He began to chant, swaying from side to side, in a manner that reminded
Zarghan of a serpent. His motions took on an odd sinuous quality and fire began to
burn within his eye sockets. The glow was visible through the flesh of his eyelids.
His body seemed to expand as the daemon filled him, but as it did so Zarghan sensed
that something was wrong. The old man began to scream.

His flesh took on a ruddy tone. Lines of light played over his body, as the
energy that filled him raced through his veins and lit his skin like a web of fire. An
odd musky scent filled the air, at once repellent and alluring. Zarghan heard the old
man’s bones crack as he grew taller and watched the flesh stretch and reconfigure
itself into a new and more beautiful shape. The aura of power that cloaked him was
palpable. When he spoke the creature’s voice was lovely, thrilling, ultimately
commanding, filled with ancient evil and barely concealed malice.

A Psyker is possessed... allowing a daemon this powerful (Greater daemon or prince level) to possess his body means he will "age" (decay) a year in a day.. implying that such a daemon might not exist for more than a few weeks or months, depending on the age of the body and its lifespan.

The daemon re-forms the body to a different shape (changing the size/volume but apparently retaining the mass. EG no mass created from thin air.

Also psychic detection of individuals on a continentla scale.

Page 235
“Unshielded spirit engines,” said Auric, in a voice that Janus now knew was not
a voice, but within his head. It held a note of horror and awe that was quite chilling.
“They draw psychic power from the very fabric of the immaterium, and yet they have
no safeguards. For all their great knowledge, my ancestors were fools, playing with
fire in a house made of wood and lacquered paper. And yet, how could they have
known the dangers? By the time they understood them it was too late.”

"spirit engines" - an Eldar power source. Or perhaps ancient Eldar power source, drawing directly from the immaterium. I suspect they do so today still (Wraithbone for the ships) but probably in a safer or more shielded form.

Page 236
It was like witnessing the waking of a sleeping giant. A sense of awful potency
grew around them. He knew that energies lurked within those pillars that were
capable of levelling this city or sinking the continent.

The pillars are the aforementioend engines.. and they line all the walls. Multiple pillars are capable of "levelling the city or destroying the continent'. The thing of interest is that the comparison suggests the two feats might be comparable , which in turn would suggest that the bombardment by the Pride of Sin (earlier mentioned to smash the city) might be of similar magnitude. As I said before, we don't quite know how large the city is, except that it is massively much larger than an Imperial starship. Putting a 10 km or so crater on the ground might take megatons or gigatons depending on bombardment, for example (how many shots and such) while a single bombardment (airburst type) attack maybe could be megatons (depending on damage mechanism)

Page 238
He knew that Malarys contained only a fraction of the daemon prince’s true
power. He had seen what such beings were capable of on the inner worlds of the Eye
of Terror, where they had sculpted entire planets in their own image. Out here
towards the edge, they did not have quite that power.

Zarghan knew that there was some overlap between what was considered the
Eye of Terror and what was not. Here at the edge things were almost as stable as
within the accursed Imperium itself. Slowly that was changing, as the Eye grew and
the influence of Chaos with it. Perhaps in another ten thousand years this world
would be like the daemon worlds. Perhaps he would come back then and take a look.

Again possessed psyker is mentioned to only have limited power in contrast to the true power of the daemon, and that, in conjunction with being on the edge of the Eye, weakens the daemon from the mad, "world shaping" powers implied inside the warp/Eye.

They must be way out on the fringes if things are nearly like normal space, givne that deeper in the eye shit gets crazy (like in the Eye of Terror novel.)

It is also implied tha tthe Eye is slowly, oh so slowly, growing.. at a rate of light years per millenia. At that rate nd barring another catastrophe, it implies Chaos might ultimtaely consume the galaxy in some 100 million years or so. Chaos is patient.

Page 247

Athenys’s smile held no humour. She seemed shaken out of her usual composure. “It is not just a sword. It is the sword, or an echo of it. It is an image of the sword of Khaela Mensha Khaine, the death god, trapped in crystal, which is to say it is death made manifest in the form of a weapon.”

“Athenys exaggerates, but only slightly,” said Auric. Janus noticed a change
had come over him since they had found the weapon.

Which implies Khaine at some point had a sword capable of destroying cities or levelling continents.

Page 247
"The blade is merely a representation of that fatal weapon. It
does not share its full power—no mortal weapon could. And this one is not as
powerful as it once was, when it had the spirit engines of an entire world to draw

And this replica is only a fraction of the power of the true sword.. and that hwen it was at ufll power (which it isn't since its only drawing one continent's worth of power, rather than the whole planet.)

Really tells you something about how powerful Eldar gods were, how powerful the ancient C'tan were, and how advanced the Ancient Eldar themselves were to even begin duplicating that.. continent destroying firepower was utterly, utterly trivial to them...

Page 248
The daemon prince’s laughter was not a pleasant thing to hear. It echoed through Zarghan’s bones and caused bright colours to flood across his field of vision. For a moment, all he could see was the outline of the thing that had once been

Malarys. It looked ten years older. The skin was wrinkled, the hair bleached white.
Baleful fires burned in his eye-sockets. The musky perfume of flesh that consumed
itself was stronger than ever. The men at their back were restless. They wanted
something to kill.

ten years older gives an indicator of the rate of aging/power consumption.

PAge 252

Those beastmen were enormous and the massive weapons they carried would
doubtless smash through armour with ease.

Beastmen. Chaos version of OGryn.

Page 256
A bolter shell clanged off his armour. The force of the impact was enormous. A
yellow wave of pain pulsed across his shoulder. His armour changed colour around
the affected area in sympathy. Zarghan felt himself being spun around by the impact.
He kept to his feet with an effort of will and the use of his perfect coordination, and
stormed on, coming ever closer to where the humans waited.

Bolter round striking armour. Non explosive impact.

PAge 259-260
Janus snatched up his bolter and pumped a stream of shells into his attackers. A
head exploded, a second human went down clutching at a huge hole that had
suddenly appeared in his stomach.

Janus' bolter fire, with the predictable head detonating.

Page 270
“Give in,” it said. “You will enjoy millennia of ecstasy as part of my
consciousness before you are finally absorbed. What is your mortal life but an
eyeblink of time anyway, before your soul is reabsorbed by the warp? This way you
gain tens of thousands of years, and they will be years of utter pleasure.”

“Go to hell,” Janus told it.

“Did you not know? Most of me is still there, at least according to the bizarre
doctrines of your pathetic church. This pitiful human host is barely capable of
holding a tenth of what I am. You on the other hand are capable of so much more. As
I will shortly demonstrate.”

Darke is powerful enough that the Daemon prince expects he could last for tens of thousands of years. The current host holds "barely a tenth" of the daemon's power. Darke could hold much more (more than half I'd guess)

Page 271-272
“You think to pit your
pitiful spell-singing against the power of a daemon prince. You must be more drunk
on the life energy of those you killed than I thought possible.”

Somehow, over whatever tenuous psychic link they now shared, Janus sensed
the eldar’s shock. It seemed the daemon did too.

“Do you think I do not know what that weapon does?” asked Shaha Gaathon.

“My, my—how will you explain this to your precious council? How will you manage
to preserve your fabled purity having drunk their tainted life force?”

The daemon’s voice was at once conversational and malevolent. Janus could
sense that it was summoning more and more energy from somewhere, plotting a
killing stroke. The body it wore was now truly ancient, withered and stooped; it
looked as if it were a hundred years old. Janus could smell the burning flesh and
noticed that its perfumed sweat glistened the colour of blood. The eyes were now
pure raging furnaces of hate, windows into the deepest, darkest levels of the most
forbidden hells.


The daemon’s laughter roared across the room like thunder in a storm. “Not
even with that sword could he do so,” said Shaha Gaathon. “All he could do is kill
this host form. I would survive.”

“Not if the deathblade feeds on your soul,” said Auric.

“Not even then,” said Shaha Gaathon, “for only a part of my essence is present
here. Your little toy might prove painful temporarily but it would not slay me. Now I
am too great.”

The sword can't slay a daemon because only part of his essence is here (more like amputating a limb, I'd guess.) Also by this point the body has aged 100 years or so.

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-01-05 01:58pm

Next up is a twofer: Eldar Prophecy and DAemon World. I'm doing them because they are both from authors who have done some bad series (or in Goto's case is considered a bad author all around, while Ben Counter can only be directly blamed for soul Drinkers and injecting weird shit like super soaker plasma weapons and daemon shooting weaponry into 40K.)

Eldar Prophecy is the worst 40K novel you ever read. Imagine dune done in a ham-fisted manner (say, by Michael Bay), except that Paul Atreides has a heavy spider theme and is a SUPER-EXARCH with SUPER-EXARCH powers. Add in Space Elves and Goto's odd fetish for them. Throw in possible backwards redneck elements and... you have this novel. It goes nowhere, it proves nothing. It has no connection to the outer universe, except in a very tenuous way. Seriously, as bad as people think Dawn of War is, read Eldar Prophecy and you will consider DoW to be fucking shakespeare compared to this.

Daemon world is Ben Counter in a Soul Drinkers flavor. That is, there's the nugget of a good story here, but it's drowned out by alot of tedious and generally irrelevant shit. For the bulk of the book it is 'day in the life of a Chaos World' and the clash between two feral armies on that world (The Chaos one and the renegade tribesmen, or something.) It all has a link supposedly, but it is IMHO a very tenuous one. There are CSM as well, but they mainly serve either to fight against a giant fucking daemon or to get killed (Because they're word bearers. But since they are Word Bearers I don't give a shit if they die.) The main difference between this and Soul Drinkers is that the novel manages, somehow, to convey its idea in a decent fashion (which IIRC was that Chaos invariably turns on itself.) I'm perversely willing to ignore much of what came before that simply because Counter managed to pull of what he intended.. although this still means this could have been a far shorter novel than it was. But compared to Soul Drinkers, I'm willing to forgive extra padding in Counter.

Anyhow, here we go. First off Eldar Prophecy. This actually has few quotes and mostly just comments because.. I couldn't be bothered to look up the quotes or type them out. I was literally that disinterested in the novel. I had read this very eary (like as early as Inquisition War) but never got around to (or having the desire) to update it like I did most of my other, older books (or like I will do with Cain, Ghosts, etc.) That should tell you how much I dislike this novel.

Page 24

- here its noted that "Thousands" of Eldar in the craftworld assembled to mourn the passing of another (notable Eldar seer I believe), but not everyone came (Aspect Warriors, some Guardians, etc.) which helps set a benchmark for the population of this craftworld, depending on how you define thousands.

I would have gone back and gottne the quote.. but that means gettng the novel back and I dont want to.

Page 83
Even though it existed as a finite object in three dimensions, it was almost impossible to find its edges, and it was literally the case that every level had another above it, even those that should have been right at the top. Intellectually, Lhir knew that this had something to do with the fact that the architecture of the craftworld was not restricted to the three material dimensions - it had something to do with the tetrahedral desgin, where the central vertex that defined the dimensions of the space lay in the immaterial realms

This implies that Eldar Craftworld may extend at least partly into the Warp for whatever reason. It's not the first time such an idea has been floated by Goto, but the exact mechanisms or rationale behind it remain somehwat obscure, as far as we are concerned.

Page 86
The movement flickered again, in the same place, and Lhir shouldered his cannon, looking along the barrel and through the sighting array. The stabilising gyroscopes whirred faintly next to his ear and his finger automatically touched down on the trigger, a hair's breadth away from firing it.

Details of an eldar shuriken cannon. Seems to be of the "bazooka" type rather than the "carried like a machine gun" type.

Page 121
Shots suddenly erupted from all around them, clinking and ricocheting off the Guardian's armour.

Other Guardian weapons presumably (Shuriken and maybe las weapons at most.) It still gives an idea of Guardian armour resilience, which seems pretty good compared to Flak. Of course considering how important Eldar lives are, providing them decent protection would naturally be a priority.

Page 144
Legend said that the pass had been held intact by the sheer power of the Warlock Ula Ansgar's will for nearly a year in the last phase of the Craftwar. It was said that she had held the vast mass of Kaelor together in her mind, using the wraithway of the pass to tie the styhx-tann sectors to the Sentrium. Local folklore claimed that she had expended so much of her life-force performing this incredible feat that she had eventually become utteryl absorbed into the wraithpath that finally formed part of the intricate web of multi-dimensional bonds that saved Kaelor from cracking completely into two.

Legend suggesting the power of some Warlock. We dont know how big Kaelor is craftworld wise, but I can think of alot of things that might influence it - for example, the infinity circuit and the wraithbone spiders acting to help. It may evne be less physical TK and more like the Warlock acting as some sort of psychic "node" to direct efforts to keep the thing patched together by variosu other facets.

Page 153 Ula Pass is noted to be tweo hundred meters long from "portal to portal" Gives us a broad idea of engagement ranges.

Page 153
If it were not there, you would be able to step across the tectonic crack that split through Kaelor during the Craftwars... except, of course, if the perimeter-field vanished, the craftwold would break in two and fall apart.

I guess Craftworlds have some sort of psychic structural integrity field they can call on to keep things together, if they need to. This suggests Eldar hulls may not just be "bare material" so to speak, but may be psychically/magically/force field augmented as well. (Wave serpants also support this idea.)

Page 159
There were fleets of miniscule little spiders working their way across the holes in the doors, spinning thousands of shimmering webs across the cavities in chaotic coordination until, in only a matter of moments, the openings had been completely sealed once again and the light from outside had vanished utterly.

The lil warp spiders acting to seal up breaches and heal Kaelor - this again gives us an indicator of how the Warlock may have kept things together.

It also gives us a rough idea of healing rates for injuries to wraithbone structures.

Page 161 - The Ansgar Eldar had passed to the middle of the pass before defending Eldar forces opened fire with suriken and laser fire. Given the length of the pas smentioend before, this is at least 100 meters range, which isn't really surprising for rifles (Eldar should outrange human weapons)

Page 163 - Wave Serpent took more than "a few moments" of abuse from multiple Shuriken, laser and Distortion weapons before being stopped/destroyed. At least a couple "emplacements" as well as a detachment of wriathguard

conversely, Wraithguard are virtually immune to personal shuriken fire, although "twin lines of converging shuriken fire" from two Wave Serpent cannon blow apart two Wraithguard without much effort.

PAge 175

- The temple of the Warp Spiders is partially submerged in the Kaelor infinity circuit. This seems odd and potentially dangerous to me, especially given the proximity of a freaking Exarch, and given another short story done by Goto where Bad Things happen if Exarch armour gets anywhere near an infinity circuit.

Page 175
As he moved, he could feel the shrine talking to him. It was sharing its knowledge with him, feeding him with the whispers of the myriad dhamashir-souls that swam ineffably throught he matrix of the Fluir-haern, into which the Temple of the Warp Spiders was partially submerged. The Warp Spiders were singularly well attuned to the spirit of Kaelor, drawing their nature from the tiny crystalline creatures that roamed the highways and byways of the infinity circuit eliminating all psychic contaminations.

Warp spiders (both aspect warriors and the maintenace constructs.)

Page 185
This was as close as they could get to the farseer's chamber. The chamber itself was powerfully shielded against any and all psychic infringements, no matter how small, and the passage of a detachment of Warp Spiders through the warp would hardly constitute a small disturbance. Indeed, it was only thanks to the incredible disruption in the sha'iel fields throughout Kaelor caused by the battle that was raging within the Styhxlin Perimeter that the squad had managed to penetrate so far into the Sentrium without detection.

Farseers (at least) have psychic means of detecting various warp disruptions, both psyker and technological (warp spider jump devices.) although this detection can be messed around with by highly psychic activity like warfare.

PAge 190
On the holographic optic-enhancer in the stomach of his Falcon tank just outside the Ula Pass, Iden saw it happen, as thoguh in slow motion. He had filtered out the melee that had raged throughout the narrow corridor of the pass, and had focused tightly on the duel between his perfect Yseult and the warpling Scilti, spawn of the Ansgar.

Optic enhancement devies in a Falcon grav Tank.

Page 191
All gun emplacements open fire. His thoguhts flashed instantaneously into the minds of the gunners in his Falcon, but also up to the Guardians that occupied the elevated gun platforms above the pass.

Psychic "comms" for Eldar, as we've seen elsewhere. The benefits are rather obvious when it comes to coordiantion and discipline. This shows us as well why Aspect Warriors fight the way they do, and why the influence of the Avatar of Khaine can be so effective (a higher, more powerful consciousness guiding them, for the most part.)

Page 197
Indeed, immunity to fear of enemies was one fo the effects of her ascension to the position of an Exarch of Khaine. Death no longer held any mysteries for her.

Exarchs seem to be immune to fear -at least of certian kinds of fear. It is quite possible they simply don't care. As long as the armour remains an Exarch has a sort of immortality.

Page 268
A sudden eruption drew his attention to one of hte Falcon tanks in the middle of the Teirtu front line. Its gun barrel barked with flame and the tank shuddered visibly as it spat a missile in a steep parabola. The trail of fire arced up into the air above the battlefield and then tipped its nose down towards the Ansgar formation.

Gun launched tank shell? This is the first time I've seen a Eldar tank use any sort of projectile weapon either. It seems to be guided (in the manner of REaper Launchers) so it may be related technology. Note the "tank shuddering visibily" implying significant recoil (At least as far as a grav tank made of wraithbone merits such things.) although we can't calc it without masses for the tank.

Page 269
He took a quick step back from this banner as he felt the weighting of the shaft, and then darted forwards again, , hurtling the length of umbhala into the air like a spear.

It flashed through a straight trajectory, leaving a glowing air-friciton trail behind it until it pierced straight into the nose of the plummeting missile, which had just begun its descent towards them. The staff penetrated the warhead and detonated the plasma charge inside. A miniature red star explode dinto existence above their heads, sending concentric rings of blinding light pulsing over the plains in all directions and rippling into the Styhxlin barrier behind the Teirtu. After a couple of moments of dazzlign brightness, the star collapsed into a rain of superheated plasma globules that splashed down to the ground between the two armies, hissing and bubbling furiously against he metallic deck.

The "Wraith Spider" I dont know if the parallel is accurat,e but all the "house warfare" and stylized shit and behind the scenes controlling and the "chosen one" and female Farseers related to the chosen one really really make me think of Dune, so this "Wraith Spider" super exarch thingy makes me think of the Kwisatz Hadderach of Dune fame. In any case, he manages to intercept the aforementioned projectile short of its target by throwing a magic spear. IF we knew anything about the perfomrance of the weapon, we might be impressed by this.

The "plasm acharge" inside seems to be some sort of glorified incendiary device - boiling liquid "plasma" reminiscent of the much beloved (HAH) plasma supersoakers. Better than a steam gun, I guess.

Page 275
A moment passed with nothing happening, and then the plasma charges inside detonated, instantly transforming the temple into a sphere of plasma, ,a raging inferno of atomic fire. The silhouette of the temple showed black in the heart of the firestorm for a fraction of a moment, and then it was incinerated utterly.

Eldar plasma charges - liekned to atomic weapons, reducing the temple into a "sphere of plasma" - etc etc. no real way to calc it expcet maybe by guessing at fireball diameter - well that and it sobviously not gigaton range :)

Page 277
..and he could feel the terror of a hundred thousand eldar souls screaming in the labyrinth of the infinity circuit.

Kaelor seems to be a small craftworld if it only has that many souls in its infinity circuit

Page 310
It was as though the Fluir-haern were rebelling against the violation done to it, as though hundreds of thousands of passed eldar souls were raging all at once.

This is a bit better.

Page 323
[i]It is the blood of Kaelor, the conductive wraith-fluid that rushes through the arteries and veins of the craftworld.

The Kaelor infinitcy circuit (at least) seems to utilize some sort of liquid element to help sustain the souls. I guess anything can be made more psychic for eldar if you add "spirit" or "wraith" to it.

Page 349-350
Three explosions of fire and light ripped through the crowd in rapid succession, pluming instanteously into orbs of superheated plasma and incinerating sections of the crowd.

Swooping Hawk Exarch dropping grenades from their leg packs. Plasma grenades probably. "incinerating" multiple people, which could mean cremation or just badly burning. MJ to gigajoule, although how much depends on the number of grenades and people involved.

Page 354 - multiple Shuriken pistol and catapault fire ricochets harmlessly off the Wraith Spider's armor. Considering he's some super duber uber-Exarch, this is not terribly surprising.

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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-01-05 02:10pm

And Daemon World. BE warned, that like most of my updates, this will contain spoilers... I was actually kinda vague (and didnt post it right away) for that reason, so if for some reason you actually *Want* to read this, I wouldn't read my analysis. amazing how I should have posted warnings like that years ago isnt it? :P

Anyhow, much of what is in this story will have echoes in Hammer of Daemons. I think Ben Counter likes having reasons to write about people on Daemon worlds. The only difference is this place is Slaaneshi and HoD involves Khorne.

Page 12
A single caravan, guided by spells that melted a clear path through the rock...

rather low-end (presumably) sorcerors on this Chaos World (Torvendis) can melt a pathway through rock wide enough for at least one wagon to pass through. We can't know for sure whether it is brute force melting or "warp" melting, the quantity of material effected, the manner in which it was done (eg just unleash some blast of energy, or was it a lengthy ritual?) or how long it even took.

Page 15
Varkith was nine heads tall, his fists as big as a normal man's head.

assuming a 15-20 cm head, we might figure between 135-180 cm. I'm betting more towards the higher end. Possibly bigger, depending on how one defines a "head".

Page 20
Silk-clad legionaries, their armour bright metallic like beetles' carapaces, kept key intersections clear of the pleasure-seeking crowds and policed their infinitely complex ceremonies with shock prods, halberds and guns.

Armaments of Chaos guards. Some favoured seem to have wepaons while everyone else goes Feral.

Page 21 - Violators Chapter of Space Marines.. personal shock troops of this particular Chaos World's ruler. Also, the main keep of the city (where the ruler lives) is a kilometer high.

Page 24
Those who survived there farmed the land and traded with one another for the basics of existence but their bloodlines had been devolved and they were blank-faced, cattle-minded people.

One of the natives of a daemon world. And even when the warp is at your beck and call, you still need to farm and eat. and people to farm that land. If you are human, that is.

Page 25
A straggle of barbarian warriors hiked across the tooth-like mountains. Charybdia cared little for such people - they led raids on the settlements that grew up around her outer walls, but they were like flies that could be swatted away by her legions if she ever got round to paying them any attention.

Again many people outside the "blessing" of Chaos seem to be much more primitive than those inside.

Page 25
Deep below her, slave-gangs laboured in the shadows of the keep's foundations. The slaves were drawn from the city's unwanted children and the able-bodied captives that Charybdia's forces took in battle, ,and the vast majority of them lived and died in the mines. Though they would never know it, their labours provided most of the raw ingredients for Lady Charybdia's life of asthetic excess, for beneath the earrth lay endless slabs of the dead.


It was from these seams of violent death that the slaves hacked fossilised bone and blood-rusted weaponry. Every now and again they would uncover something that could produce a new experience - a specimen of a species previously unused in the keep's architecture, a nugget of surviving tissue potent with age, a talisman still drenched with magic that could have the memories of battle and bloodshed wrenched from it.

Yet another delightful industry of this particular world. A very sound, economic solution too! The Invisible Hand at Work!

In a more serious vein they seem to be mining for.. sensation. Which is very Slaaneshi. I'm guessing what they mine for is either matter imbued with some strong psychic/sensory imprint, or possibly the manifested/crystallized essecne of some thought or emotion

Page 26 - its noted here the slaves were human, ork, ogryn, aliens... They had less than 1/10th their noramll lifespan. Makes me wonder if it is due to arduous conditions, or just because the Slaaneshi are sucking their souls.

Page 26
They [Guards] carried shock-flails for herding the slave crowds, and implanted vibroblades in their hands and feet to make short work of any potential escapee.

Its also noted the Guards' outer layers of skin have been stripped off to increase their sensory capability - very much in Slaaneshi style. The main thing of interest are the vibroblades.. which are rarer (or soemtimes implied to be less advanced) than chain weaponry . Go figure.

Page 27
-so many resourcees were poured into the mines that they probably formed her empire's primary expense. But she knew it was worth it. THe constant refinement of sensation was her own form of Slaaneshi worship, and if the unwanted and defeated could not be put to work honouing her god, then what good were they at all?

This serves as a rather good reminder of just how alien the Chaos gods are, as far as goals and motivations go (and how this influences their interaction with people, the ways and reasons for conducting battle, etc.)

Page 28
It was a spaceship. Shaped like a teardrop with a long tapering prow, the bulbous main body ribbed and studded with portholes. It was an old design, ,a shuttle or interceptor that had not flown in real space since the Horus Heresy ten thousand years before.

Its worth noting at this point the ruler of Torvendis seems to have near-planetary level awareness (or the capacity to observe things over a planetary scale) if she wishes. Exactly how this is or why it is we aren't told, so it may be innate or it may be some sort of device or magic imbued into something she owns or occupies.

Page 31 - mention of a warrior wielding a stag-horn bow that could shoot through three men at once. Not sure how this would match up to real bows, but it sounds excssive and magical.

Page 47
.. and he had chosen the Multus Sanguis precisly because it was fast, tough, and had an unusually active [if unstable] machine-spirit that could look after itself if left alone. The ship was like a massive cluster of cathedral spires, stained and encrusted with weapons emplacements and gargoyles that tore angrily through space on the dull red glow of its engines. In addition to its other qualities, it was the largest ship in the Word Bearers' fleet that was capable of a planetary landing.

Inside, the interior of the Multus Sanguis was convoluted to the extent that only a tiny fraction of it was habitable, the rest open to hard vaccuum or full of twisted metal. Only the bridge, engineering decks and Word Bearer's quarters were safe.

The aforementioned, teardrop shaped shuttle/interceptor. It's more like a small starship or like Eisenhorn's gun cutter (even in shape, its more "angular" than the blocky modern constructs of the Imperium.) It's key features are its self-aware machine spirit (which seems to pilot and do everything) as well as it being the largest craft that can land on planets the Word bearers have, as well as being warp capable. "fighter" scale suggest it is tens of metres long, although it could be hundreds of meters, since we know of freighters and tankers that large landing on planets.

Page 49

- Mention of a Word BEarers Deadspeaker... a (presumably) psyker who basically is a kind of necromancer. (can speak with interrogate the dead)

Page 53
Ghostly equations and occult diagrams flashed here and there at random, symptoms of the ship's growing unpredictability - the Multus was old and thoughts came to its machine spririt unbidden. In its senility, it was becoming more human.

Its also noted the machine spriit needs to be fed blood from the crew (IE sacrifices). Not only does this suggest that machine spirits can grow insane with age (or be driven insane as through the warp), but it may very well be possessed (as later evidence suggests.) All of this may be due to the potential incorporation of organic material (brain, nerves, etc) as part of a machine spirit.

Pge 53
There were places in the foothills of the mountain range, but Amakyre knew the ship would be hard to miss from the great walls surrounding Lady Charybdia's city. Much of the swampland would swallow up the ship's huge weight and if they landed on one of the islands the Word BEarers coven woudl have to somehow find their way across hostile waters before they could even bein their quest.

"There," said Amakyre, pointing towards a place in the far north of the continent, where mountains met the sea.

The ship in question is so large it would be consumed in a swamp, it can easily be seen from the walls of the Chaos capital city, and it is large enough to completely fill an island.

Page 53
The Chaos Marine was about twice the height of the wretch.

Either a very short dude or a damn tall marine. (4' midget or maybe 9-10' astartes?) We know some Astartes cna go to 3-4 metres, especially in armour.

PAge 56
..when their decadence had caught the attention of Slaanesh. Some claimed the eldar thus brought Slaanesh into existence, but such was heresy - Slaanesh was as old as lust, and lust was older than anything.

This passage deserves some explanation in several ways. Firstly, Slaanesh isn't just lust, it is all sensations and experiences - lust just tends to be the one most commonly thought of (but also art, poetry, music, drugs, etc.) Secondly "Bringing into existence" more than likely refers to Slaanesh becoming a self-aware gestalt consciousness of all those amassed souls/thoughts feelings he/she/it feeds on - a true warp spirit/entity/god if you will. Prior to that it was probably more latent, unformed, unconscious and undircted thoughts.feeling snad desires.

Page 57 - Legionary is described as "more than two metres tall." possibly due to chaos mutation.

Page 59
The servants of Slaanesh, formed from a porttion of his magnificencec and given sentience, were enthusiastic if barbaric, pursuers of pleasure and wee unparalleled enforcers and soldiers.

mention of how "servants" (daemons and other creatures) are tied to and created from Slaanesh's own psychic gestalt.. baiscally extnesions of his wills and desires (even if self aware ones in their own right.)

Page 74
Acolytes were hurrying this way and that armed with autoguns and laspistols, valuable firearms given to the temple from the armouries of Lady Charybdia's legions.

Firearms that are Guard standard seem to be rare and precious on this world. This suggests the general tech level of firearms (as we see) is much lower. HEll most of the battles have little in the way of black powder weaponry, much less laser weapons.

Page 75
The second shot took the head clean off one of the novices, a fountain of blood like a spray of jewls as he fell.

Bolter round, I believe. May be the Obliterator though.

PAge 75
Yrvo felt the round slam into the chamber and sprinted towards the ridge. A sudden explosion blossomed, arcing past the ridge and blasting a handful of acolytes apart. Small arms fire chattered overhead, raking through the Deacon's men, punching raw red holes through torsos and sending limbs spinning from their bodies.

the explosion is probably the Obliterator's frag missile - about grenade level in and of itself. Gunfire or bolter fire (We can't be sure which) also amputates limbs.

Page 76
The figure was three and a half metres tall with armoured shoulders just as broad, its armour plates packed with muscle., its shape shifting as new weapons were extruded frfom its flesh.

Our friend, the Word Bearers Obliterator

Page 77
Their bodies jerked and came apart under the autocannon fire.

Page 77
He took a lasgun from the mangled body of an acolyte that had tumbled beside him and fired blind again over the ridge. The metal was hot in his hands from sustained lasbursts...

Some lasguns, these at least, seem to have cooling issues where the weapons as a whole get hot. But not so hot they inflict any burns or cause pain.

Page 79 - Slaaneshi cultists crave the sensations of battle, and this wars with their sense of self preservation. (in some respects they're just as crazy as Khornates)

Page 81
A second blast of the recharged plasma pistol reduced the nightmare to a melting, burning mess.

The nightmare in question a skinless man. Megajoule range somehow, depending on how you want to take "melting" and "burning",

Page 96
The magical bolt had hewn through five or six men before it hit him, boring through torsos and separating limbs from bodies

The flames were gone but the pain was not - Golgoth was still burning, his skin and fat sizzling, threatening to char down to the muscle and leave him helpless.

Magical spell. No idea how big the hole is, so we can't really calc it.

Page 108
A Space Marine could be three metres tall, and broad, but Karnulon's magics would definitely stretch to giving him normal human proportions.

I assume 3 metres tall in armor, overall height. And not 3 metres broad. They're not squares.

Page 111
"Possible contact," came Skarlan's voice. "We've got an artefact. Sending coordinates."

Twin crosshairs blinked on Phaedos' autosenses, projecting from the inside of his helmet onto his retina. Phaedos peered towards their location and made out a tiny dark glint amongst the rot. He picked out Skarlan a few hundred metres away, keeping his bolter trained on the Artefact,,,,

Crosshair autosenses.

Page 111
Phaedos saw the anomaly was a teardrop-shaped bulb of metal, sides ribbed, engines flaring from the rear, long horizontal viewports like reptillian eyes.

It was a pre-Heresy craft, such as roosted in the vast raiding capitol ships of the Word Bearers. It was a single-man vessel but a large one with room for lavish chambers within the bulbous hull. It was Karnulon's craft, without a doubt, for only one who has been with the Legion since the Heresy would have a personal ship like this.

Seems like a drop pod like a dreadclaw.

Page 112
A ship of this size should have had three or four decks divided into private quarters, a bridge, a n armoury, a galley, and as many other rooma that the owner could fit in.

The drop ship in question should have 3-4 decks. Must be pretty big.

Page 113
"There's a stone pyramid in here." voxed Skarlan. "Thirty Metres high."

The ship is at least 30m tall, probably much much more sine the pyramid is in just one room.

Page 124
It was thirty metres tall, the size of a Titan war engine.

Khornate Daemon. What kind of Titan we aren't told. Contrast with the Bloodthirster in IA7 Vraks Part 3, and imagine how much Inquisitor Sue would have to extend his arms to stab this guy.

Page 128
It was surely the spell-staff, forged by Veq from the molten core of Tovendis, which the self-styled Pontifex Infernum used to boil the southern oceans and scour every living thing form the heimsphere.

I guess Chaos Magic can render ocean-boiling extinction events too, if they do it right :)

Page 141
Kron's last sight, before he had escaped, had been of Ss'll Sh'Karr, waist deep in molten metal, wings beating as he flew upwards to keep himself above the surfacec of the Fire. The sphere was filling with fire as the whole temple complex liquefied in the heat. But it would take fare more than mere fire, Kron knew, to hurt the daemon prince who had once wallowed in a literal ocean of blood and had whole armies break agianst him like a wave.

Kron knew he was no longer strong enough to face something like Sh'Karr.

The Daemon is at least 30 metres tall and probablt 5-10 metres across, so he's enclosed in many terajoules worth of molten metal, easily - although only a part of that translates to the daemon prince.

Page 149
It was said that when LAdy Charybdia had ordered a great summoning of daemons Caduceia had been one of the sacrificial victims. But Caduceia was anything but a vvictim and she had refused to let the daemon burst frrom her flesh, leaving the two melded into somethign that was quite horrible to look at...

It seems possible in some cases to resist or throw off possession, even partly. This echoes back to the Illuminati concept from 2nd edition.

Page 151 - Charybdia's Legions could marshal a full million troops ot her walls.

Page 153 - its mentioned here that she has "millions" of legionarys, as well as the Violators and daemon packs to call a upon to defend her city. This would imply the planets population is at least in the tens or hundreds of millions, givne that for every warrior they probably need many more just to sustain that soldier, and it doesnt seem likely they do it by magic.

Page 159
This section of the wall overlooked rolling foothilsl where a forest had found purchase, a dark blue-green blanket lying heavy over the plains. Scavengers who lived off the detritus and the dead cast down from the wall by the legions, used the place for cover - the legionaries, in turn, used them for archery or gunnery practice. LAdy Charybdia had often ordered the razing of the forest, but every time it had been scoured with axe and fire it had grown back twice as dense within days...

The Centurion scanned the edge of the woods, ,about two kilometres from the base of the wall, trying ot pick out a shape against the darkness. He saw movement but it could just have been th stiff breeze blowing across the foothills.

Chaos forests. Also mention of "archery and gunnery" practice. Two kilometres from edge of forest to base of wall.

Page 160
There was a sudden, sharp sound and Kolkis looked away from the eyepiece, to see the young legionary clutching at his throat and the slim shaft of black wood that jutted from his neck, fletched with white feathers. The lad coughed and a gout of blood spurted from his mouth, as, eyes rolling, he pitched backwards to land, spasming, on the floor of the battlement.

"Magical," he said to himself. And magic meant something more than scavengers.

It was probably nothing, just a gang of barbarian youths claiming nobility from their chieftan fathers, testing their manliness by killing someone on the walls.

They can't see the barbarians becuase they're in the woods, two kilometers away, and a magic bow and arrow crossed that distance to kill said Legionary.

Page 161
Kolkis glanced between the teeth of the battlements and could see arrows darting up from the edge of the woods, each one enchanted to give them greater range and accuracy than any mundane archer could manage. He had heard that the nomads who lived on the edge of the desert hunted with such weaposn, and only htey had them in such numbers - but the deserts were thousands of kilometres to the south.

Again, firing from the edge of the woods on the city's walls from an approximate two-kilometre distance. It should be noted this is a useful trick for Chaos, although it doesnt seem to be game winning when facing Imperial forces, suggesting their own weapons can at least get close to reaching that range (not unreasonable with a las weapon.)

Page 175
The defences were well-constructed, designed to funnel attackers into bottlenecks where they could be confronted and killed by a relativeiy few trained men, or bunch them up on the wall where guns and archers could be turned on them.


Units of soldiers armed with swords, shields and other more exotic weapons besides, were taking up position at junctions and doorways to face any attackers that might find their way onto the walls.

Guns and archers on the wall, but mostly melee weapons for the legionaries.

PAge 176 - guns are mentioned again. What guns mean isnt really specified.

Page 200
Hurriedly, legionnaires were scuttling across the battlemants to meet this new threat and one of the guns fired. An explosion ripped apart the ground at the monster's feet and another hit it square in the chest- it was thrown back a step but when the smoke coiled away it was unharmed.

More like cannon it would seem.

PAge 212 - there'd been a time when Kron could catch bullets. If we haven't figured that out by now, he's superhuman.

Page 218
Lady Charybdia's chancellor, Mape, had shrunk back down into the upholstery of his chair and was shviering. He was a tiny, monkey-like man with shirvelled eyes like black beads, who had been drained of his free will by his soul-destroying duties in calculating the total resources of the city. He al one actually had an understanding of just how much was hacked from the earth and then destroyed, poured down the thraots of revellers or forged into buildings and weapons. The mathematics of this process were infused with Chao and hence were fundamentally illogical, and trying to comprehend them had sucked out all the interesting partts of mape's mind.

Even Chaos needs its accountants and book keepers. Except they use chaos math, which is imaginary (at best) and probably drives you insane, or causes fires, or turns people into ferrets or something.

Page 220 - its claimed here a Space Marine (well a CSM of the Violators chapter at least) is worth a thousand barbarians. Does this mean an Imperial trooper is worth 100 barbarians? :P

Page 221 - they have servitors (or at least Charybdia does) albeit old ones. the one in quesiton has a holoprojector.

Page 222

The image was blurry - compiled from the various seances and remote viewings of Lady Charybdia's pet sages. IT was distorted by some sorcery.

- here its mentioned that Charybdia is receiving images/intel data from her sages (information retrived via sorcery in other words - thought the words "seances" and "remote viewings" are used.) One may assume most psykers, including Imperial Sanctioned ones/astropaths, may be able to do this, and likewise transmit the data into a technological format.

Page 235
more movement, about half a kilometre away, something like a man but rather large, glinting faintly as it moved between cover. Amakyre risked dodging out of his own cover, moving from shadow to shadow, steps light, bolter raised.

"Captain? Got him." It was Makeko

Amakyre frfoze.

"To your left. Seventy Degrees."

He [Makelo] was a crack shot too, even for a Space Marine, and he habitually loaded his stripped-down bolter with silenced shells.

"Clean shot, captain."

Sniper bolter (and presumably regular bolters) have a range of about half a kilometre. Probably more for non-silenced (eg not subsonic) ammo. since we know from False Gods that bolters can use subsonic and supersonic ammo in the HH, and from Soul Drinkers that modern bolter ammo is better, we could conjecture this is a very, very lower limit on bolter range. Given the 300-500m range of a bolt pistol from Angels of Darkness and ~200m or so from Space Wolf it's not horribly surprising.

Page 258
Silver flashes marked spell wrought arrows that stuck into Sh'Karr's flesh and dissolved in the heat rolling off him.

The magic doom arrows do fuck all to a Bloodthirster.

Page 266
A further pair of thunderhawks similarily mutated rose above the battlements. They turned and their bellies opened, revealing payload compartments ringed with grav-cushioned benches.

The CSM Thunderhawks. BTW mutated into some living dragon like creatures when they got possessed by daemons. (or at least the machine spirit did). YAY CHAOS!

Page 295
There was one chance. The power plant of his dreadnought body was white-hot with exertion. If he overloaded the plasma conduits he could rupture the casing and disappear in a ball of plasma fire, taking Sh'Karr's head and upper body with him.

Dreadnought reactor overload could potentially obliterate Bloodthirster.

Page 296 - its mentioned here that actually in battle, the Violators each are worth 100 barbarians. I guess that means the suual Imperial troops are only worth 10 barbarians :P

Page 303 - the Half-daemon Cadeucia runs faster than the legionaires. No surprise that, but we're not told how fast either,.

Page 304
Caduceia reached over and fired a blast of superheated plasma down the barricade, the stech of burned meat washing over her as three men disappeared in a crimson cloud of vapourised blood.

Organic, daemon-gifted plasma weapon. Take "vapourize" however you like.

Page 314
"Can the Multus track it?"

"The craft isnt' shielded. IT can be followed."

"Shielding" that apparently makes it harder to detect things.

Page 333
The bridge of the Slaughtersong was a shining armoured sphere several hundred metres across.

that means its several hundred meters tall and wide.. at least a kilometre long if it follows usuall Imperial dimensions. Probably larger though.

Page 342-343

From deep within the ship, a bolt of silvery light shot from the armoury doors straight into Veq's hand. The Word Bearer in front of him had barely begun to raise his bolt gun but already Veq's mind had snapped into the cold, heightened cast of battle.


Gunfire erupted again from below. Veq swatted a score of bullets from the Obliterator and caught three more with his free hand, throwing them back down to the floor of the bridge with a curse. The young one, the most dangerous, fired a well-aimed shot at his temple, but Veq flicked his head to the side and the silenced bolt flittered past him.

Veq seems largely immune to word bearer gunfire, even from the Obliterator. The levitation trick the Slaughtersong does for Veq is pretty impressive too.

Page 343
Veq's blade.. honed from the hearrt of a star and white-hot to all but Veq himself...

Almost certainly a magical blade in all respects.

Page 344
Veq took two steps and leapt, dropping through the lattice of bullet trails to land directly in front of the Obliterator whose every weapon was blazing at him from point-blank range. The star-sword cut through the air as Veq met every bullet, sending a sparkling fan of deflected fire in every direction.

Veq can still deflect all gunfire even at point blank range from the Obliterator.

Page 355
In the endless galleries of the neoplasma generators, where the gigantic cylindrical turbines hung suspsended between a web of gantries.

the DAoT starship runs on "neoplasma" power.

Page 356
PHaedos let go and reached beneath Veq's guard, blasting a volley of bolt pistol shells right up into Veq's body. Veq twisted and felt the air turn searing hot as the bolts shot past his torso close enough to singe his robes.

"armour" said Veq, and plates of armour shot through the air from the depths of the Slaughtersong to slam around his body.


The armour had been carved from the briny exoskeletal plates of the giant sea creatures that scoured Torvendis' ocean bed. Ribbed, roughened plates of bone and cartilage thudded into his upper body and arms, as mail of meteoric iron, like silk carried on a wind, flowed through the air and wrapped itself around his abdomen and throat. Hardened spines sprouted down his back and gaunltlets of ensorcelled sharkskin slid onto his fingers.

Slaughtersong can levitate Veq's Magic Armor and precisely fit it onto his body in some bizarre cartoon power up process.

Page 357 - Veq can duel on equal terms with the strength and speed of a CSM and not even flinch. If anything, he overmatches them.

Bolter rounds passage through the air (either from velocity or exhaust) can turn the air searing hot.

Page 365
Torvendis had been a jewel in the now-fallenempire of the alien eldar, a species which prized knowledge and self-mastery over all other things and who at their height commanded technology that bordered on the most powerful magic.


Torvendis had been caught in the heart of the eruptioon of warp space. The systems around it were torn apart and their populations enslaved. Torvendis endured, protected first by a fleet of starships, then a shield of sorcerous energies, and then just the faith and invention of the eldar themselves.

Torvendis was an Eldar maiden world, and managed to briefly survive during and after the Fall.

Page 365
The hold of the Slaughtersong held a flight of fighter craft, ,huge chromed raptors with delta-swept wings and bundles of particle projectors jutting from the fueslage. There were seventy of these craft lined up neatly in the hold, lit by the stark floodlights high up on the ceiling.

One hangar carires a flight of 70 super fighters.

Page 366
Veq saw the bolt before he heard its report, like a tiny steel insect buzzing towards his head. His reactions were almost as sharp as they had ever been, he was pleased to note as he ducked the shot and let it thud into the hull of the fighter behind him.

Veq again can dodge bolter fire - what is interesting here is that the round is clearly supersonic, as it can be seen before it is heard.

Page 367 - Veq is able to individually control the motion of each fighter on his own, by voice or motion, and they apparently have AG drives, as they use no exhaust to move about inside the bay.

Page 374
The machine-spirit of the Slaughtersong was, perhaps, even older than the rest of the ship.


That it was a relic of the Dark Age of Technology there was little doubt, ,and the machine spirit was the strongest evidence. The core was like an arena ringed by towering grey-black memory stacks as tall as buildings, ,each with a faint ripple of light playing across the surface.


The ship was all but sentient, a companion as much as a vessel, a counsellor and sounding board as well as a weapon.

Veq's starship described.

Page 384
It would take barely a flicker from the Slaughtersong's weapons to turn Amakyre, Prakordian, and the shuttle into an expanding ball of plasma.

Self explanatory.

Page 387
An escape via warp drive was the only possible option, and that meant getting to the Multus

Page 388
A weapon had emerged from the side of the Slaughtersong's hull, immense and shining, from which was leaping a solid beam of blue-white light.


As far as Amakyre knew there was only one other target in orbit around Torvendis. THe Multus Sangus.

The Slaughtersong targets and destroys the chaos shuttle/fighter/thingy at orbitla distances.

Page 389
Amakyre drew his bolt pistol and shot Prakordian between the eyes.


Amakyre wished for once that Spacec Marines were easier to kill. He emptied his bolt pistol into Prakordian until there was nothing but shattered bone and gristle above the neck.

It takes emptying the bolt pistol clip to blow off a CSM's head.

Page 395
The Last didnt't speak, as such, but it had been given intelligence by the eldar, who at their height had mastered psychic engineering, and it could talk directly with a man' s soul.


Veq, for his part, knew the Last was still a maiden world, imbued by the eldar who had lived there with a consciousness of its own so it could be as beautiful and productive as possible.

Eldar Maiden worlds unsurprisingly have their own sentience/soul, are "possessed" for lack of a better term. This probably is one reason why they are such perfect, paradse worlds, and what also explains all the beneficial effects such a place can bestow upon colonists.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-01-11 04:13pm

Well fuck. I was going to post the Fire Warrior stuff, but...I screwed up. I actually lost the first sixty or so pages worth of analysis I'd done, so now I have to do it over. ARRRGH. So this will be delayed probably a week or so while I get it ready. Or if I get it done sooner I may post it separately.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-01-15 05:49pm

First update for Fire Warrior. Wasn't as bad As I thought, at least.

Page 11
04.58 HRS (SYS. LOCAL — DOLUMAR IV, Ultima Seg. #4356/E)

Timeframe and locale presented in frist chapter. Dunno if its useful or I covered it before but here it is.

Page 13
The dropship, an Orca-class shuttle with ample room for his entire hunter-cadre, made no noise

Capacity of Orca class dropship.

Page 14
In the literature and imagery that filtered its way into the training facility, O’Shi’ur was typically seen clad in his colossal battlesuit, striking a pose against the pied skyline of some alien world. The por’hui media bolstered his legendary reputation, oozing rhetoric upon his defence of the tau empire and his efforts to carry its creed to the as-yet unenlightened races of the galaxy. He was a hero, plain and simple, and Kais had lived beneath his shadow since he could remember

Kais father is a propoganda figure and Kais himself has daddy issues as a result.
Page 16
Ever since Kais could remember, Ju’s spiritual intensity had irked the other warriors, forever espousing the sanctity of the tau’va and holding forth with whatever philosophical nugget she’d most recently picked up. It wasn’t that the other rookies begrudged her faith in the Greater Good; rather that the tau’va philosophy of collective progress had permeated every part of the young line warrior’s training, and her inclination to preach was regarded as a waste of energy and breath.

The Tau religious fnaatic, or the closest equivalent.
Page 20
He knew his reluctance to discard the token was sentimentality of the worst kind: treasuring such a bauble long after its text had been committed to memory smacked of impracticality, utterly inviolation of the principles of the Greater Good. Still, it exerted some form of impossible gravity pon him — he could no more throw it away than he could believe himself worthy of its lesson.

An interesting facet of Tau philosophy. They seem to emphasize a certain emotionlessness or serenity/detachment. Not a bad thing.
Page 20
He upended the helmet and lowered it over hishead, feeling the familiar surge of sensory information as the faceplate made contact with his skin.The world opened up from a single speck of light, a horizontal explosion of colours and shapes overwritten by winking text brackets and analysis readouts

Interior of a Fire Warrior helmet.

Page 21
A set of digits in the corner of Kais’s vision blurred towards zero, an interface with the dropship’s systems reminding him visually of the vessel’s meteoric descent.

Timer display inside the helmet.

Page 21
Had a shas’la ever dared express such sedition they could be guaranteed an intensive course in mental correction at the very least, not that any were foolish enough to do so.

Brainwashing/indoctrination likely, for the Greater Good. As perverse I feel in revealing it, I do admit it probably makes sense from their POV, what with their emphasis on the Greater good and unity over the individual. Dissident elements can be disruptive, after all.

Page 22-23
“Details are unimportant. There’s been an incident — that’s all you need to know. Remember your niche.Remember your place. You are a cog in a machine! Ask no questions! Obey and concentrate!"

Sounds like Imperial propoganda in some ways, doesn't it? In a sense it's quite similar. The tau favor unity and unquestioning obedience (albeit for different reasons) the same way the Imperium does. Although the tau, for various reasons, are better at it.

Page 25
A second rush of astonished pheromones greeted his senses.“You speak Imperial?” the black-cowl hissed, cable-strewn fingers clenching in surprise

The pheremone stuff tied to Ethereals, as well as surprise at an Ethereal speaking Gothic.
Page 26
“Genetor primus of the Magos Biologis and Adept of theOfficio Xenobiologica. I’m what you might call an… enthusiast of all things ‘tau’.”

But not with the AdMech? I'd guess he's maybe a detachment or ally or something. I've never heard of the OFficio Xenobiologica, but given the labyrinthine nature of the Administratum, it isnt surprising there'd be such an organization either.

Page 27
In truth, the didactic memories divulged little material regarding this “Officio Xenobiologica”, but the overtones were clear. Without a trace of arrogance Ko’vash was fully aware of his importance to the tau: to have fallen into the hands of beings as fiercely expansionist as the gue’la was nothing short of disastrous. He had no doubt that, at the first possible juncture, he would be tortured fo rwhatever tactical knowledge he possessed. The shortsightedness of the gue’la was appalling.

The importance of Ethereals and the first mention of their ability to implant memories and knowledge directly into the mind. I'd gather the Ethereal here is referring to his own importance causing the Tau to go to any lengths (no matter how irrational) to retrieve him.
Also irony in the Ethereal commenting on the expansionist tendencies of the Imperium.

Page 27
Whispering a calming litany, he reminded himself that even the gue’la, in time, would come to embrace the tau’va. All things would, eventually.

The confidence (or Naivete) of the Tau regarding their manifest destiny.

Page 28
“Would you say, then, that he represents the whole of your race?”
“Of course! We live and die to serve him!”
“And in so doing, you serve all gue’la?”
The adept’s eyes narrowed suspiciously “Where are you going with this, alien?”

Ko’vash allowed a serene smile to play across his lips. "The ‘greater power’ that I serve,” he said, “teaches us that in service to our race, we contribute to the Greater Good… Are your Emperor and my tau’va truly so different?”

The utter sneakiness of the tau. Not unlike the Ministorum really.

Page 28
“so you must know of the tau’va… You must know we seek to unite all things for their mutual benefit, not to destroy them?We are no threat to you, unless provoked.”

HAH! A bit of hypocrisy there. They think nothing of premptively invading or conquering a planet if they think it serves their Greater Good, and they wouldn't consider this hypocrisy. Another similarity betwene them and the Imperium, really. The Ethereal reminds me alot of the Crusade era Iterators.

Page 30-31
Dolumar IV was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a well-developed world. The spaceport was little more than a cluster of limpet buildings and a field of rockcrete, the major city Lettica a haphazard arrangement of rock and steel and the population little more than a captive army of workers.All through the day and night the smelting factories churned away, disgorging their noxious emissions and shattering any hope of a moment’s silence. The agriculture projects had all died within a few years of the first colonists’ arrival; only the relentless machines, grinding away eternity in a fugue of molten metal and weld sparks, gave the planet any sense of purpose now.Dolumar was a weapon world. Eating itself from the inside out, its overseers kept a constant stream of impure metallic nuggets spilling onto rickety, steaming conveyors; churning out the oiled, brittle killing tools of the Imperial Guard. Give it enough time and Lettica’s factories would coverits entire surface — another forge world to birth the war machines of the Imperium. Little wonder the Departmento Munitorum had chosen to garrison the planet with such a high density of guardsmen. Four entire regiments were, even now, scrambling to respond to this unannounced alien threat.

Dolumar IV in brief. Not quite a hive world it seems.. an industrial wordl at least on its way to becoming a Forg eworld. It seems to be under joint AdMech/Imperial rule though. I imagine its an IG/Muniotrum world because its devoted to weapons and industry. One of the directly administered ones too but not as well developed as others (It's a fairly recent settlement.)
It also houses 4 Guard regiments, which actually isn't that much, so this may reflect the standards of the region the planet is in.

PAge 33-34
Kais recognised the squat physique of the shas’la on point: a female named Keth’rit who had trained with him on T’au. The other he didn’t know.
The pair stepped around the nearest corner and flew apart, las-fire knocking ugly chunks from their armour. Keth’rit’s head jolted backwards with a snap, a pale jet of cyan blood hanging limpid in the airbefore scrawling itself across the trench wall. The other trooper fragmented at the limbs and neck a shis chest absorbed a volley, slumping in a fractured heap

Effects of lasfire on Fire Warriors. Like in the Kill Team novel, lasfire is effective at penetrating the armour, at least on certain settings or in certain quantities. The Fire Warrior seems to be virtually pulverized by the blast, not totally chopped up but close to it. I'd guess we're talking 2-5 cm wounds (mayb twice that) which is single/double digit kj at the very least. More, if it involves burns (double digit kj at least for third degree burns)

Page 34-35
The controls before her could hardly be more intuitive: finely balanced level gauges, pitch and roll tracker spheres, directional touchpads on hovering drones, all within easy reach of her slender arms, themselves a physical trait common to all the spaceborn tau of the air caste. It was a design of perfect ergonomic arrangement, a symbiosis of pilot and vessel, and she never failed to spare a respectful thought for whatever earth caste fio’el had designed it.

Interior of a dropship cockpit.

Page 35
As if overhearing her thoughts, the dropship’s Al chimed in with a sonorous announcement.“General alert,” it warned, voice lifeless and cold. “Enemy ordnance seeking lock. Gridzone 3-5-2.”T’pell hissed and forced herself to remain calm, fixing her eyes upon the appropriate viewscreen. Sure enough, a lumbering vehicle on dust-choked tracks, venting clouds of smoke,lurched along the rim of a nearby trench and swivelled its turret inexorably in her direction. T’pell stabbed at the burst cannon auto-track control and held her breath.

Battle tank, probably a Russ, seems to have some sort of active targeting that the sensors on the Dropship can pick up and warn abuot.

Page 36
The cannon fired, its roar shuddering through the air and lifting a layer of dust and sand from the trench floor.
Like an angry creature spasming its muscles to shed the parasites infecting its skin, the ground clenched and shuddered. Something nearby detonated, and Kais lost his footing at the rush of Shockwaves that followed. Scrabbling in the sand, he dragged his gaze painfully towards the end of the trench, where boiling gouts of smoke and dust lurched skywards. One of the dropships had beenhit, toroq-side engine blown to shreds.

Tank cannon shoots down a dropship
Page 36
Burst cannon pulses punched craters in the trench-walls around Kais, knocking lumps of molten metal from the gue’la tank above his head and sending him scrabbling for cover.

Burstcannon vs Battle tank.

Page 38
The disembodied voice continued with a sigh. “You should be receiving those co-ordinates now.” A row of characters blinked to life in the corner of his HUD. He stared at them morosely,aware of the distance involved.

Data transmission to Kais from the command dropship.

Page 39
He’d flourished amongst the grunts of the 19th Glamorgian regiment thanks wholly to his literacy. His weapon skills were negligible and any one of his comrades could, had they wanted to,pound him into the ground. But could any of them compose letters to their families, or read prayersto pass the time on guard duty? Could any of them make equipment manifestos or help the captainadminister the armoury?

Literacy doesn't seem to be a strong point amongst some IG regiments, despite what is implied in the uplifting primer.

Page 39-40
Once a living human, now its dead features were riddled with mechanical apparatus and twitching components, logic engines replacing its cauterised brain. Its necrotic flesh tightened in concentration as it listened to the comm-feed from the sensor array on the bunker’s roof. "T’au transmission intercepted…” it hissed, dead eyes long since rotted away and replaced by glowing optics. “Attempting to translate now…” Its myriad fingers, branching horrendously from every part of its hands and wrists, began manipulating the gears and clattering logic devices on the console before it, every now and again pausing to tilt its head at some particularly hard-to-translate phrase

Comms servitor intercepting and translating Tau comms.
Page 42
Kais peered along the winding trench, disquieted by his commander’s ability to remotely view the feed from his helmet optics. All throughout his training he’d been uncomfortable with thesensation: having someone else inside his eyes, staring out at his world without his permission, judging his actions from a distance.

Mor eof the Tau fire warrior data sharing.

Page 43
“I’ve just had word from shas’ar’tol. They’re concerned that the gue’la in that bunker might have intercepted some… sensitive transmissions. Their equipment is more sophisticated than we thought.”

Far miore, given what we learn about Imperial comms ability later.
Page 44
"That soldier…” came Lusha’s terse voice in his ear. An orange icon blinked in his helmet display, distance tracker rising swiftly. “You need to pursue him. He could be carrying a warning…”

More info/data sharing.. the dropship tracks an didentifies targets that need to be dealt with and assigns them to Fire Warriors.

Page 44-45
He saw again the two fire warriors dissolving before hiseyes, picked apart by relentless las-fire. He saw the spinning bulk of the shuttle, whirling out of control in a storm of dust and flame. He saw the death and insanity that had surrounded him since he set foot on this planet, a web of blood and smoke and horror. All part of an elaborate ruse. “Just a distraction…” he repeated, unwilling to believe it.
“Remember the machine. ‘One people, one unity, one person.’ You’re a cog! You’re a component in a greater scheme, and if you’re ordered to take part in a distraction, then by the One Path you’ll do it!”

More 'Greater good' stuff. Normally the tau aren't big for sacrificing their troops, but when an Ethereal is involved all bets are off. They literally are that obsessed about them. But it shows in Kais reaction how unusual it is, but this sort of thing is also part of the Greater Good.
Also more Machine propoganda. Also we get indication of the earlier fire warriors basically being blown apart by lasfire.

PAge 46-47
A blue-white orb of pulsefire smouldered across his shoulder, singeing the cloth of his regs and earning an anguished sob in response. In the last rational part of his brain he realised the wound barely even hurt, cauterised evenas it was inflicted. That didn’t stop him from screaming.

Pulse fire can cauterize, clearly indicating there is at least some thermal component to it (like with some lasweapons)
Page 47
Which was when the xeno that had been following him, optic sensor burning with reflected light, shot his left kneecap into a thousand tiny, spinning fragments.

Pulse shot vs Human knee. single digit KJ maybe?

Pshr 47-48
In the course of his career he’d learnt to recognise the potential for greatness when he encountered it. In each aspect of the tau’va was the confirmation of equality: the lowliest earth castefio’la, it espoused, was as vital to the continuing sanctity of the Greater Good as was the mighty Aun’o Kathl’an himself, high in the fluted towers of the walled city on T’au.
Lusha understood that. Respected it. But still, once in a while there came an… anomaly. Plainf or all to see, an individual unable to fit in, without the means or the patience to find their niche in the correct — gradual — fashion. In La’Kais he could see skills beyond those of a mere shas’la: his stealth and speed, his innate craving for tactical knowledge — these things marked him out as plainly as did his impetuousness. Only the youth’s inability to accept his place in the present would prevent him from rising to greatness in his future.

Typically, even in the most meteoric of careers, there were incremental gaps of at least four tau’cyrs between each rank. One became a shas’la upon graduation from the battledome, then ashas’ui, then a shas’vre. An elite few became shas’els and, in only the most exceptional cases,shas’os. For Kais to achieve a status more in keeping with his abilities, he must exercise the one thing Lusha doubted he possessed: patience.

Lusha introduced. He's actually my most favorite tau character in the novel, because he's perhaps the most well balance.d Dedicated and loyal to the tau ideas, he doesnt' go overboard or become mindlessly dogmatic. He seems like an actual, living being. He's also a credit for the concern he shows for Kais, which really plays up the fact he has to use the poor fire warrior 'For the Greater Good'. Its one of those things about the novel that really is well done in my opinion. It's not all butterflies and sunshine.

We also get some data on Tau advancement. Which is pretty consistnet with their knowledge/mateiral based warfare (although it makes training slow and time/resource intensive.)
Page 50
This part of the city had been all but flattened in the tau attack, targeted by one of the colossal Dorsal-class bombers that had pre-empted the ground strik

Tau Dorsal class bombers.

Page 52
06.O5 HRS (SYS. LOCAL — DOLUMAR IV, Ultima Seg. #4356/E

timeframe at start of Chapter 2.

Page 54-55
Shas’ar’tol command were pleased, at least. The expenditure of life in attacking Lettica, they deemed, had been acceptable. Given the success with which the gue’la forces had been drawn away from the prison, Lusha suspected the supervising shas’o was delighted.
He told them about Aun’el T’au Ko’vash. He told them that the gue’la, unprovoked, had forcibly abducted the cherished ethereal. He told them how the abductors had been tracked by the finest air caste pilots to this backwater world. The loss of their comrades, he’d told them, was all part of the scheme, the plan, the mon’wern’a: the “deceptive assault”.
Lusha couldn’t help but think of Kais’s words, from down on the planet. “Just a distraction? ”he’d asked, voice thick with betrayal and bitterness. Sitting there in the dropship as the shas’o gavehis inspirational speech, the youth had looked sick, expressionless features not masking theresentment in his eyes. In such subtle ways were the emotions of taukind expressed; not in theexcesses and self-indulgences of the gue’la.
Lusha could well imagine the thoughts masked behind Kais’s empty expression, full of bloodand fire and dead comrades. He wanted to tell the youth that they’d served the tau’va, each in theirway, but O’Udas hadn’t finished talking and the meditations upon loss would have to wait.

More on Tau thinking and doctrine. Again its something I like about the novel.
Page 56
The very existence of an edifice designed solely for the incarceration of the socially incompatible was beyond Lusha’s understanding. On T’au those few who failed to conform were considered worthy of sympathy and help, not punishment. He dismissed again the illogic of their conventions and regarded the brooding construct dispassionately.

Tau views on crime and punishment. And more mental conditioning
Page 57
A high-altitude survey drone had provided the subterranean topography for his infiltration mission, now imposed iconically at the foot of his HUD. A complex mélange of radiation echo sensors and temperature gauges had located a natural sinkhole in the desert, terminating mere tor’leks from a service tunnel beneath the prison compound.

Tau drone and it ssensors.

Page 57
A guard, investigating the crippled sentry gun’s clattering protests, dropped to his knees with a neat hole through his forehead.

Pulse fire again. Penetrative rather than explosive this time
Page 58
Uncomplicated and good humoured, he’d regarded Kais with a respect and familiarity he’d never expected to regain following his father’s visit to the battledome. And now he was dead. Lying in pieces somewhere, probably. Knocked apart by a grenade, or sliced into wafer fragments by a chattering lasgun. Gobbets of his flesh and bone riddling the flame-gutted trenchways.

Kais imagining the fate of a fellow fire Warrior. Implies lasguns can blow people apart literally, although inh ow many shots we dont know. Double maybe triple digit kj per shot at least?

Page 58-59
His father had given a speech once, recorded by por’hui journalists on the eve of his death at the hands of the y’he hivefleet, so the story went, ripped apart by some shrieking monster. The speech was broadcast on all por’hui channels to mark his loss — an inspirational gush of propaganda and affirmation. Kais had seen it so often it was inscribed upon his memory, as indelible as a didactic imprint:
“Remember the machine,” O’Shi’ur had said, staring at the camera drone directly, acidic gaze boring into the viewer’s brain. “It has interlocking parts, each operating with perfect efficiency, each as vital as every other. This machine works only because each component works. It succeeds only because each part of it is operating in order.
“Sometimes a segment may seem redundant… Sometimes the wheels appear more vital than the fuel reserve or… or the grinding cogs seem more necessary than the pistons. It’s an illusion. One won’t work without another."

“We’re all part of the machine. We live for it, we work for it, we fight for it. And, when the time comes, we die for it.” The old warrior had blinked his eyes then, and looked away from the camera.When he looked back, he seemed distant, sad somehow. Kais had always wondered about that.
“But in a way,” he went on, “we never die. Because… it doesn’t matter if a piece of the machine doesn’t operate any more. As long as the whole continues to function, the memories and achievements of each part remain with it forever."

More tau propoganda. They love their propoganda.

Page 60-62

<Servitor 56G/x attending (0/442.D). Telepath assistance declined.><Datastream reception only (0/491 .g).
++Enduring Blade?++
[Received. Time reference 1632.17 (terracode), D. 5732341 .M41.]
[Carrier ident. recognised. Local link established.]
++Colony 4356/E, Dolumar IV. This is Governor Meyloch Severus.++
[State secure-channel code.]
++Who is this?++
[Servitor 56G/x (Rotho#2). State secure-channel code.]
++Oh, for throne’s sake…++
++Here. AGGE-2567-G.++
++It is essential that I speak with the admiral. Interrupt him, if need be.++[I’m afrai—]++Listen to me very carefully, ensign. You will tell the admiral that Governor Severus needs tospeak with him urgentl—++

27++Quiet. If you do not, ensign, I will ensure that my acute displeasure, along with your name, isconveyed directly to the Officio Navis Nobilite. Is that clear?++
[Severus? What do you want?]
++Is that Admiral Constantine?++
[No. It’s Vandire himself, back from the dead. Of course it’s me.]
++So generous of you to bother.++
[Don’t waste my time, governor. I have a ship to run.]
++I need your help. My colony is under attack.++
[Emperor’s blood, man! You’ve got four warp-damned regiments down there! Plus the… specialtroops you requested last week.]
++Admiral, I hardly need acquaint you with the seriousness of this situation… If my factories aren’t operating this subsector can consider itself unarmed.++
++There’s an enemy vessel in orbit. I’d appreciate your assistance.++
[We’re on our way.]
[You’re in luck, Severus.]
[The Enduring Blade just rendezvoused with the Fleet Ultima Primus. We’re a two-hour warp jump from the edge of your system.]
[The tau won’t know what hit them.]

Astropathic communication between two different systems. It is effectively realtime, since they exchange dozens of back and forth communications in that scene, and the interruptions are virtually realtime. WE're talking many millions of c easily, even with relatively adjacent planets (a few LY apart) and seconds/minutes delay.
Also 2 hour warp jump to travel between systems.. we're talking at least tens of thousands, if not hundred of thousands of c (or more) I skippe dove rparts of it but that's pretty consistent.

Also Dolumar IV is the most important factory planet in the subsector as far as weapons go.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-01-15 05:53pm

A small second update. Finding the Ethereal and Tau vs Space Marine. Kais will kill a great many Space MArines, and the favour will be returned later in Kill Team when a single Space Marine kill a ton of Tau.

Page 64
His helmet sensors chimed, flickering graphics isolating a narrow groove in the doorway’s frame and matching it effortlessly with the keycard he’d taken from the officer’s body.

Another variaiton of the "targeting/highlighting" function of the Tau HUD.

Page 64
Unable to prevent himself, Kais grinned.
The first one fell backwards, legs flipping athletically as his pulverised chest arced away, smoke lifting from the wound.

Pulse shot. Easily as powerful or moreso than a lasgun round or burst. Possibly hotshot level.

Page 64-65
The las-shot hit him like a sledgehammer.
He’d expected a sharp, ripping pain. He’d expected it to feel like a needle, sliding through his flesh, separating sinews from bones, opening muscles like ripe fruit.
Instead it was an anvil crashing into his shoulder, spinning him around on his spot and sending angry, nebulous blobs of colour dancing before his eyes. He crashed to the floor, feet trailing before him.
It was only when the initial shock had faded, when he blinked through the film of eur’ii moisture covering his eyes, that the sense of sharpened agony began to blossom. An ugly laceration marred his upper arm, a blistering mess of cauterised flesh and singed fio’dr fabric.

Identified as a lasgun. Note that the weapon is not quite explosive here, nor is it tearing his arm apart at the joints or blowing him to pieces like implied earlier.. it's simply badly burning his upper arm. Assuming the arm and shoulder take severe burns.. call it 300-600 square centimeters depending on degree of surface area burnt (most of upper arm and front and sides I'm guessing) we're talking at least double digit kjs for severe third degree burns, probably close to 100+ kj for fourth degree. its alot less than the 400j per square centimeter "steam explosion" scale at least, so much beyond 100 kj for the shot is unlikely. And recall that this is 'heat ray" mode lasguns, which is less efficient than mechanical damag emechanisms.
Alternately the reason the wound simply burned him rather than blasting his arm/shoulder off, might have been because of body armor (it moderated the explosive effect, but spread the energy out over a wider area resulting in a nasty burn but a still somehwat intact arm.
Page 67
The schematic on the wall refreshed itself, an AI assembled mélange of radar, lasergrid and high altitude survey-drone telemetry melded together, now showing the access ramps in the prison courtyard hanging open.

Orbital data provdies the Tau commander (general analogue I believe) with an observation of Kai's progress. Again Tau informational capabilities are quite impressive.

Page 68
Kor’o Natash Tyra, captain of the Or’es Tash’var, stood resplendent in his pale flightrobes at the centre of a swarm of drones, each one inscribed with a simple control icon. Every now and again, in response to a comm signal or fluttering display readout on the two sleek console drones at the head of the suspended swarm, O’T’yra would depress the touchpad on a drone’s casing transmitting whatever relevant orders might be required to some distant part of the ship’s crew. Other air caste personnel lined the outer walls of the command deck, operating sensors and secondary systems with as much fluidity and grace as their superior.

Command deck of a tau starship. Much different than any Imperial one we've seen. More well lighted and less gothic for one. Also no cogs.

Page 69
DiGril hadn’t joined the swollen ranks of the Emperor’s Adeptus Detentio just to die at the hands of some godless xenogen, a resolution that he had firmly continued to support by secreting himself in the most remote section of the prison he could find.

Yet another invented "adeptus". I'm assuming this is a sub group of the Arbites or maybe connected to them, dedicated strictly to garrisoning and controlling prisons. Or maybe thats just what they call the arbites in this region of space. Or it is just a result of the sprawling Imperial bureacracy. Who knows.

Page 70
Stranger still, a series of datum drones — dead skulls filled with memorised information — had arrived in the captain’s office courtesy of the governor. Each one was a mine of subversive articles on xenogen species: images, essays, interrogation documents, biological treatises, voice record seminars on weaknesses and strengths, a million-and-one ugly facts about ugly beings that the captain had ordered him to recite to the other guards over and over again. It was as if Governor Severus was expecting xeno-trouble.

Intel reports, basically. In skull drones. Because that is the Imperial way.

Page 70
“The alien’s in the courtyard,” someone barked on the comm.

The sergeant seems to have his own comm.

Page 71-72
Kor’vesa 66.G#77 (Orbsat Surveillance) adjusted its primary optic focus on the planetary horizon and opened a datastream. Its parent node aboard the Or’es Tash’var responded with a withering hail of security checks and analysis scans lasting a fraction of a heartbeat. An oscillating band of microwaves tightbeamed between the two processors, narrowing its focus appropriately
Dolumar IV, a Kre’ui-class world with tolerable atmosphere and meteorological conditions, defined within 66.G’s memorysphere as “gue’la io’ra”, rolled beneath the surveillance drone’s field of vision enormously.
A cluster of signals arrived from the Or’es Tash’var. The drone responded immediately by adjusting its secondary optics, focusing them upon the distant speck of light representing its parent vessel. A bright blue glow was building beneath the warship’s forward segment.
66.G adjusted its horizontal position in relation to the planet. Damage analysis would require careful scrutiny. The warship broadcast a final set of emergency codes on all frequencies and fired.
66.G tracked the glittering droplet of energy as it fell away towards the planet, briefly developing a milky corona as it punctured the upper cloud level. By the time it reached the surface it was little more than a blue speck, leaving a ghostly ion trail behind it.
The little drone implemented its most powerful magnification filter and recorded the impact.
Many gue’la died.

Tau orbital satellite observin gand recording starship executing a tactical orbital strike.

Page 74
“The alien is not intrinsically evil.
Do not hate him. Pity him his ignorance.
Seek to understand his differences
And acquaint him with his inadequacies.
“Only then will he accept his place
in the Greater Good.”

It was a Sio’t meditation — committed to memory long tau’cyrs ago — supposedly composed by the great hero O’Mau’tel. Since its inscription, of course, the tau had encountered both the insane, green-skinned Be’gel and the ever-devouring The: two races, each in their own way utterly incapable of integration with the tau’va. The meditation had been quietly dropped from later editions of the Sio’t, but Kais had always remembered it.

HAH! Tau propoganda strikes again. I don't blame the tau for being pragmatic like that - no doctrine or ideology can really survive contact with the Orks or Nids intact, because neither races is one designed for co-existence or permitting its conquest. But it does kinda show that it's not as great or perfect as it is portrayed to be, which I also like. It's the sort of blinkered, naive ideology that prevents them from recognizing Chaos as legitimate, or the threat of genestealers, or that they're baiting a vastly greater Empire (in terms of size or numbers) into crushing it.

Page 75
The language itself felt just as bizarre now, grating against his throat, as it had done when the fio’ui medics grafted it into his mind at the third didactic treatment. He remembered spending decs afterwards with Ju and Y’hol, trying out the strange alien words appearing as if from nowhere inside their memories.

I guess the "didactic treatements" involve grafting or surgery. That tends to reinforce the "brainwashing" aspects in my mind.

Page 78-79
In accordance with the stringent non-campaign daily agenda documented within the Codex Astartes, every Marine was accorded four hours of natural meditation-induced sleep every day. It was dreamless, supposedly, a time for bodily relaxation and total mental rest. Ardias hated it. It was four hours wasted; four hours that might be spent on the firing range, or in a training hangar, or conducting any one of the multifarious and complex ceremonies of worship that the monastic life of a Space Marine entailed.
It wasn’t even that sleep was necessary, especially. Deep in his skull the artificial catalepsean node could, when required, divert the ceaseless flow of his mental activity, allowing each cerebral lobe to rest whilst the other remained alert. In such a state a Marine could operate indefinitely, relentlessly serving the Emperor in a fashion unthinkable to normal, inferior humans. Only because it was so decreed in the Codex (and, he admitted, because of the vague danger of cranial trauma and psychosis), did Ardias accept his four wasted hours with good grace. He didn’t have to like it.

I find this hilariously ironic and appropriate (considering this is from an Ultramarine no less) that the rigid Codex obsession and the fact he might suffer brain damage or insantiy is dismissed so blithely, much less the reasons why. Its just so.. appropriate.

Page 80
He’d reported it to Ardias scant hours earlier, moments before the riotous “vessel under way” alarms sounded and the warship slipped with a cold lurch into the warp. The librarian had been vague, clearly shaken by whatever mystical process he’d undergone.

This suggests that they had been out of the warp somewhere when they'd received the message from Dolumar IV. and it sbeen "hours" ago.

Page 81-82
Mont’au. The Terror.
It was a word from the time before the Auns came and preached the tau’va. Before the tribes became castes, before the wars ended and the blood stopped rushing and order came to T’au.
Mont’au was a state-of-being without progress, without unity or altruism, without direction or purpose or strength. There was a purity, he supposed, in its selfishness: a focus upon the “I” before the “we”. And they’d seen it in him.

This seems to be the closest the Tau can come to comprehending what Chaos is, or what it represents. This is another theme of the novel, and one which will get addressed in far greater detail later on when Chaos makes its appearance. Sufficed to say, this is yet another hefty blind spot in the Tau, especially since they play around with developing Warp Travel of their own.

Page 82-83
It seemed to comprise a withered shape, desiccated and frail. He realised with a frown that it was a gue’la figure, almost corpselike in its aspect. Its great papery head — ringed by serried light rays and lightning bolts, hung in limp necrosis, sallow features wrinkled and bloodless. Around and within the skeletal shape was a stylised machine encrusted with yellow and gold mosaic tiles, a rambling arrangement of clustered cables and bound tubing, puncturing and entombing the body, surrounding it in a metallic embrace.
The cadaver’s eyes peered down into the candlelit chapel with a great, hollow sadness, filling the chamber with mournful tension.
Was this their god? he wondered. Was this their Great Emperor, stubbornly hoarding the faith of his teeming flock and preventing their rightful acquiescence to the Greater Good? A rotting, pestilent corpse ruling over his rotting, pestilent empire. Kais fought to contain his revulsion, regarding the statue blankly. They deserved each other.
He raised his rifle and sighted on the pale figure, its very existence a bitter slur upon the efficiency and purity of the tau’va. To even waste an energy bead upon it was damning in its display of his intemperance, but he felt somehow that in obliterating the icon he would be achieving something palpable.
But he couldn’t do it.
The crosshair wandered across the smooth carved lines, full of destructive promise, but every time his finger tightened over the rifle’s trigger, every time he imagined the fragmented pieces of alabaster spinning nebulously away, every time he moved his gaze anywhere near the pitiful shape, those ancient, aching eyes pinned him to his spot.
Somehow, without even bearing a trace of similarity, the abrasive stare of the withered god reminded him of his father, seeing into and through him, exposing his ugliest thoughts. He couldn’t destroy it. He couldn’t even look away from it.

For whatever reaosn you ascribe to it, Kais own emotional hangups over his father, this being some psychic avatar of the Emperor (and thus imbued with his own aura of authority or whatever.) or what, its a pretty neat secene overall. I personally tend to imagine it reflects Tai's own conflict of order vs Chaos, the Chaos side trying to get him to desecrate a hated symbol of order, even if it isn't the order the Tau espouse, but the Imperium's order. and Kais' champion of Order, can't do it.

Page 84
The pulseshot pulverised his chest before he knew what was happening, blasting him backwards onto the flagstones with a strangled yelp.

Another puls-fire chest blasting.

Page 85-86
The machina excrucia, so named by whatever ancient tech-priest had first called forth a machine spirit into its circular frame, had undergone his refinements with good grace. The physiology of the tau — a subject close to his heart — was somewhat different to that of the common human. He’d augmented the device’s conductors, subtly altering the positioning of its various synapse arrays, even narrowing the central locking spine. A tau’s skull, he had discovered during his studies, was rather more brittle than that of a human.
“It passes an energy stream across your pain centres,” he replied, guiding the hanging coronet as it descended. “At least, it’s supposed to. Our understanding of your biology is rather limited, more’s the pity, but I’m confident my alterations will yield fruit. Ideally, the excrucia simulates the sensation of physical pain without causing any real damage. I’m told that the more… tenacious subjects who’ve felt its bite have lingered for hours, with no respite and no medical attention. There’s no escape, Aun. Not even in death.”

The Imperium: where torture technology is always on teh cutting edge of development.
Also we learn Tau skulls are more fragile than humans.

Page 93
The first pulse-orb caught it directly beneath the broad sweep of its right shoulder-guard, flaring angrily with white heat and cascading sparks. The figure jolted backwards slightly: a casual sway, as if in response to a light breeze. Each subsequent bolt repeated the ineffectual display, a fountain of dissipated energy blossoming at each impact but causing little real damage. The gue’la just stood there and took it all, leaning in its spot and absorbing everything that Kais threw at it.

Pulse fire does very little against power armor, much as we learn in Kill Team. This tends to vary from novel to novel, as in Black Tide pulse rifles do manage to score some hits.

Page 94-95
It was a ray of light stammering on the serenity of its own words. It was a dreamscent, whispering past his senses, a pheromone medley of spice and fruit. It was a song without a chorus, a breathless celebration of melody and rhythm, stained by a taint of discordant pain.
Kais twisted his head without thinking, unable to control his mind, finding his gaze filled by Aun’el T’au Ko’vash. The torture device had ascended into the shadows, leaving blotched burns and scratches across the ethereal’s pate. Weak and frail, shaking from the bone-pitted wound above his nasal orifice, the Aun raised his head defiantly and fixed Kais with a stare of pure peace. It filled his mind, overriding every sense in a rush of inexorable calmness. It waved away the smoke and the pain, it washed clean the blood in his brain and assuaged his racing thoughts. He was a puppet to it: an empty vessel given awareness of its own hollowness and somehow, against every expectation, glad of it.
If I am nothing as an individual, his mind said, then let me be content with my place in a higher order.
And he was.
In that instant, in that surreal moment of exposure to the ancient wisdom of the Aun, Shas’la T’au Kais was a functioning, satisfied piece of the machine.

Kais upon encountering the Ethereal. It's rather illuminating to see how the presence of the Ethereal impacts Kais - it's more than just pheremones I suspect.. its something that seems to get into the hearts and minds and even souls of the Tau and changes it all in an instant. It isn't psychic per se, but it acts precisely like that - the way the Ork Warboss can focus Orks, or the Eldar's Avatar of Khaine can influence them, or how the Hive Mind can focus its subordinates through synapse creatures. The Ethereal seems to radiate some aura of command and confidence and authority and contentment and serenity that just washes away any doubts fears or uncertainties and replaces it with what the Tau need to carry through and win, and its like flipping a switch.
When I read this I always have this wacky idea that the "pheremones" are some mind control virus or machines that respond to bizarre radiations of the Ethereal and create these effects, or something. Maybe the tau need to wear a tinfoil hat :D

Page 95
He shot the Space Marine twice. The first hazing orb of superheated plasma punched a deep crater in its torso plating, sending spiderlike fissures scuttling across the green surface. The figure toppled backwards, startled, weapon chattering spastically, spare hand clutching at the air.
The second plasma bolt hit the Marine’s scowling faceplate, shattering its eyelenses like glass, engulfing it in a cloud of igniting fragments and outwards-spreading gore — a thick soup of smoke and blood that followed the enormous hulk as it tumbled backwards, crashing chaotically to the ground. It shivered and whined as the last vestiges of the armour’s power reserves expended into the air.

Imperial Plasma weapons have no problems penetrating Astartes armor. Plasma pistol explodes helmeted AStartes head.
Page 96
Here, Kais saw, was focus. Here was devotion to the tau’va on a scale he could barely imagine. Here was faith, and it was contagious. Despite the Aun’s fragility he carried an invisible aura, a mantle of contentment that hung around him, allaying every one of Kais’s fears, soothing his turbulent thoughts. He lowered his gaze, awash with devotion and respect.
“You have my thanks, Shas’la,” the ethereal purred, even his voice carrying a medicinal quality. In some quiet corner of his mind Kais felt manipulated, as if the mere presence of the Aun could blast away whatever shreds of individuality he might possess. But he couldn’t rage against the violation — he was powerless against it and, worse, he enjoyed it. Somehow, without even touching him, the Aun could reach inside his mind and show him how to belong.

Again we see the effects of an Ethereal upon a Tau fire warrior, and again it behaves like some sort of immediate "area of effect" aura that just changes everything mentally about the tau - and it seems far more than just pheremones. In this context the Greater Good as we see in the tau-centric fluff isn't just a philosohpy or ideology, its something reinforced by the will/aura/whatever the fuck is radiated by an Ethereal - THIS is what gives the Greater Good it's driving force and impact on Tau society, and enables it to carry through what it does.
Whether that is a good thing or bad thing.. who knows.

Page 97
“El’Lusha — did the prisoners get out?”
“They did. La’Y’hol led them to safety through the ruins, despite his injuries.” Lusha sounded amused. “The por’hui have got their hands on the footage already, I’m told.” Kais smiled to himself, imagining Y’hol’s proud, grinning features smeared across every bulletin screen back on T’au.

More on tau media propoganda. That may in part explain why they have so many video feeds and such, even.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-01-27 05:57pm

Another fire warrior update too. Was slow on putting this out.

Page 97
The dropship left the battle behind, pulling away through the lazy columns of smoke towards the edge of the crater valley. Below, Lusha could see the last vestiges of gue’la resistance surrendering their posts and dashing for the cover of the underground levels exposed by the orbital strike.

Orbital strike again.

Page 98
The youth had been out of contact, hidden to the dropship’s sensors behind countless layers of rock and steel.

Tau sensors can't penetrate very deeply below ground, it would seem. At least, not on its own.

Page 98
He’d seen the report, compiled and transmitted from the Or’es Tash’var half a dec earlier. High above the smoking, debris-strewn plains of Dolumar IV, prowling out of the warp like a shoal of rampaging t’pel sharks, the gue’la fleet had arrived.

Assuming (and given the nature of the report, I'd say that they wouldn't delay about it) they detected them immediately on emerging from the warp or so, we might figure the Imperium is at least half a light hour out. Then again that doesn't fit with all inteprretations as below so we might not take that with a grain of salt.

Page 99
08.5I HRS (SYS. LOCAL — DOLUMAR IV, Ultima Seg. #4356/E)
Governor Severus lurked in his plush cabin aboard the flagship Enduring Blade and forced himself to focus, biting his lip until he tasted blood.
The journey from the surface had been comfortable, he supposed.

By this point the Blade is in orbit around the planet.. we might figure it took at least half an hour longer than stated above, to maybe 51 minutes (depends on how one interprets the above) call it as little as half an hour to several hours.
Assuming they were at least 1 AU away, the acceleration is.. interesting.. on the order of 6-10 thousand gees.. which ranks right up there with Sabbat Martyr and a velocity around .3-.4c.
One possibility is that they came out of warp at high speed (knowing they would be in an engagement) and they had a good navigator to come out close, and spent the entire time on appraoch to the planet braking. I'm also inclined to believe they spent more than half an hour (At leats an hour) slowing down too, especially if its more than 1 AU distance.

Page 100
Severus had first contacted the Enduring Blade a week previously. It was an irregular convention, he’d discovered, for companies of Space Marines to be seconded aboard navy warships, spending their time in isolated training and meditation away from the crew. He dimly suspected it was all part of a goodwill scheme to minimise enmity between the characteristically arrogant Adeptus Astartes and the abundant personnel of the Battlefleet Ultima. It made little difference to him why they were aboard; the admiral had boasted in communication that full companies from the Raptors and Ultramarines Chapters had honoured his flagship with their presence, and Severus had wasted little time in formulating his petition.

At least they acknowledge having Space Marines onboard a Navy ship isn't typical, but the idea of any sort of "goodwill scheme' is even sillier. Space Marines are regarded with awe and reverence (bolstered by propoganda) so I doubt anyone of the 'rank and file' would be anything but suitably worshipful of an Astartes.. and the Astartes would probably consider it a waste of time as well. 2 companies of Space marines are significant forces in their own right.

Page 101
...he was rewarded with the pledged assistance of a tactical squad of Raptors. They arrived two days later, colossal warriors cut directly from the myths and legends of history...
The tip-off he’d been expecting arrived two days later. Beyond the abyssal gulf surrounding the Dolumar system, the tau empire’s outermost fringes were rich in colony worlds. There, left behind by the collapse of the Damocles Crusade, waged by the Imperium two hundred years previously, Severus had long ago discovered several scattered populations of humans, living peacefully beneath the patronage of the tau. He’d been fostering contacts amongst the dispossessed communities ever since. In the end, greed had overcome any sentiments of loyalty to their new masters: he’d learned of the impending arrival of an ethereal upon the colony world of Kuu’lan from one fortune-seeking fool, and had dispatched the Raptors immediately.
They’d performed admirably, despite the immense collateral damage they’d inflicted. And now the next phase of the plan was progressing equally as pleasingly: the tau response had been swift and devastating and, even better, Battlefleet Ultima had come running at his call.

I'm guessing at leats tens if not hundreds of c distance.. we're talking beyond the range of the Imperium (and the astronomican) 2 days to and two days back.. thousands if not tens of thousands of c at least.
Also by this point its been two centuries since the Damocles Gulf crusade.

Page 102-103
The human fleet skulked nearby, a dispersing pack of kroot hounds circling a dying preything, hungry for carrion. Every one was a beaked slab of colossal dimensions, infested by the scuttling buttresses and spires characteristic of gue’la architecture, bristling with multi-tiered turrets and cannons. It could raze a planet, this ponderous clutch of predators.
Staying out of range of their main batteries was proving problematic, even for his faster, more manoeuvrable Gharial-class warship, but Tyra was unwilling to disengage from orbit until the very last second.

Comment son the capabilities and potential engagement ranges of Imperial warships relative to the (outnumbered) Tau force.

Page 103
On one screen a camera drone faithfully documented a cluster of fighters, jagged black and grey slashes of metal superimposed with IR-sensed fuel emissions like trails of blood, as they strafed the smooth hull of the warship’s juntas side. Twin furrows of las-fire etched ugly wounds across the tawny hull, puncturing blast shields and sending great spears of debris and writhing kor’la crewmen venting into space.

Tau warship getting strafed, I think.

Page 108
“How many breaches?”
“Twelve boarding groups. Eighteen more were destroyed in transit.”
Lusha nodded, impressed. “My compliments to the gunnery drones."

Assault craft boarding attempts by the imperium. Also note the reference to gunnery drones - tau starships (or rather these ships) use automated gunney for point defense.

Page 109
Guiltily, Lusha wondered if it had been worth it. Whatever happened to the equality of every tau? Would they have sent a warship to rescue him?”
More of Kais’s bitterness, addling his mind. It was too easy to lose faith. Too easy to set aside the ideals of unity in a fit of acidic hubris.
The serene part of him — the part he trusted — whispered: Of course. Of course it was worth it. It was done in the name of the tau’va.
In the path of the Greater Good, it said, all are equal. All are as important and as fallible. As worthy and as worthless. As a being, as a cog within the machine, the Aun’el is as valuable as any of us. There is no injustice here.
But as a thing, as a receptacle of knowledge, his importance warrants any sacrifice.

Lusha reflecting on his own faults and doubts in the face of the Greater Good and his place in it, as well as the place of an Ethereal. That said I think this is a rather obvious logical fault in Tau "philosophy" and what cements it as an ideology as dogmatic as the Imperial Cult - Tau Ethereals are valuable basically because they are Ethereals, and there is no other reason given. It isn't even a rational response, its a built in, knee jerk, deep down reaction that is so deeply ingrained (or conditioned) that no other alternative but "Ethereals are important" is possible. Even the Ethereals themselves do not seem to question it. It's quite similar to the circular logic employed in the Greater Good - the tau never question why another would choose not to embrace it - to the tau (and even to their allies) it is utterly unthinkable that anyone would NOT want to be part of it, or would understand it, etc.

Page 111-112
The assault craft contained elite storm-troopers, bursting into the deck to clear a space for their more numerous comrades aboard the carriers. They’d failed, in this instance. He checked the remote detonator, reassured by its glowing yellow status light, and hurried from the craft.
And where the doors of the gue’la vessel — itself little more than a hollow missile — hung open at the prow, a strange metamorphosis occurred, the serrated bore head of the barge amalgamating almost organically with the undulating disorder of the warship’s wound. Black ceramite, melted by superheated charges, fused in a splattered vomit cast to the mangled edges of the beige and cream hallway.

The navy ships have storm troopers of some kind, and their assault ship/boarding torpedoes. They used a melta charge for breaching it seems.

Page 112-113
He’d thumbed the grenade trigger apprehensively as he approached his appointed reaction zone, still accustoming himself to the lighter weight of the carbine.
The grenade had bounced off a wall with a clatter.
Then everything went outwards. There was no fire, no grandiose gout of flame or smoke roiling, mushroomlike, out of the grenade. There was just a wall — an expanding sphere — of force. Flesh came off bone and hurled itself across walls and ceilings. Bodies flipped in midair, slinking head over heels to collapse in boneless disarray. Shrapnel flickered like a galaxy.

Unlike the tabletop game (or like in other fluff) Tau in Fire Warrior have grenade launchers that can actually fire dangerous (rather than incapacitating) grenades, which seems like a very useful feature. Although 'expanding sphere of force' may suggest it is a concussion grenade or force field analogue.

Page 113-114
A servitor twitched its head, owl-like. Its taut skin, stretched to near-transparency over the metal latticework of fibres and components riddling its skull, bunched in ugly dumps as it affected a frown — some vestigial impulse remaining from the machine host’s previous life as a living human.

Some servitors it seems may have some fragments of previous memory or personality remaining even if purged. This may be an indicator that some "higher level" servitor personalities are indeed possible (They just are less lobotomised than most.)

Page 114
He lifted his peaked cap to smooth his silver hair and stared around the control deck with a sigh. Immense banks of copper-piped gauges and obsidian-panelled switch consoles blinked and hissed, dutifully manned by a menagerie of bio-machine servitors and gaudily dressed officers. The enormous logic engines rising in stacks to either side were tended by chanting tech-priests and crewmen, work seats on vertical rails slumping and ratcheting their way up and down, twitching datum drones exchanging nonsensical binary conversations.

Bridge of the Enduring Blade. Contrast with the Tau ship.

Page 114-115
The boarding craft, he knew, were woefully outdated. He’d seen stock footage of the assault boats of the Segmentum Obscura in action, a smooth and deadly deployment of resources that left little room for enemy defence. The resources of the Fleet Ultima were worryingly behind the times.
“Fury interceptor, report,” Constantine barked. A pale-faced ensign looked up guiltily.
“Seventy per cent operational, sir. Sixty-five per cent for the Starhawks.”

They have Furies and Starhawks, but its implied that Segmentum Ultima is perhaps regarded as more of a backwater, and the equipment and gear they get is less impressive than in other segmentum. Kind of makes sense, since by much of the fluff humanity colonized the western half of the galaxy more heavily than the eastern, and Ultima tends to be the biggest territory, so there's alot of factors there that can degrade the quality of battlefleets.

PAge 115
“Adept Yenus encountered some… problems. It seems the machina locarus is somewhat decayed and the teleport array couldn’t adequately secure a lo—”
“Adept — I’m not remotely interested. Just tell me if it worked.”
“Partially, admiral. We believe two adepts survived the transmission and are in position.”

Yet, despite being a bakcwater fleet, the battleship has its own teleporter. :D

Page 118
"All you need to know is that I’m going to capture that bulbous piece of orkspoor xenotech out there, kill every last grey-skinned abomination onboard and send it to the Adeptus Mechanicus for study with a gold ribbon and the compliments of the navy. "

The Admiral seems to think the AdMech would thank him for giving them some tau technology to study. Depends on the coggie I suppose - some of the more radical ones no doubt owuld (like they explore Necron tech) but the more conservative types probably would purge him for tech-heresy.

page 119
“I was commissioned by the Administratum, in conjunction with the Officio Xenobiologica, to capture and study a high-ranking tau ethereal.” He pushed a hand into his pocket and extracted a thick wedge of papers, all of them marked by the winged black seal of the administratum. “This isn’t some vanity project to keep me amused, admiral. It’s all here: official tactical sanctions and permissions, resource allocations, requisitioning documents. I think you’ll find I’m perfectly within my rights to demand your assistance in this matter."

Another "officio" mentioned. Also with authority from the Administratum, apparently evne a Sector Governor can requisition aid from the Navy. Possibly the Planetary Governor equivalent of a rogue Trader "wildcat" charter, which means it would be useful in "getting around" the roadblocks of an inefficient bureacracy (although also risking igving too much power to one person.)
Page 120
Four tau’cyrs of policing the virtually crime-free streets of T’au, marching along its polished thoroughfares to protect its bright towers and domes from the terrors of antisocial behaviour.

Tau worlds are relatively crime free, and crime is deemed "anti-social behaviour" which again suggests some sort of mental reconditioning.
Page 121
...the wonder of void travel, the immaculate corridors of the vessel, the awkward lurch of a warp-hop and the attendant relief at exiting in open space rather than in the heart of some star. For all their ingenuity, the earth caste scientists had thus far been unable to unravel the mysteries of the warp, and even the brief “dips” into unreality that the bravest kor’os undertook were fraught with danger.

This may be referencing Ether drive, or it may reference one of the indirect means they've discovered for using the warp for travel (EG warp gates in Kill Team.)
Page 122-123
...he’d never forget that moment when the weapon lurched in his hands, thrumming induction field ejecting a single tumbling particle at impossible velocity, opening up in a blue teardrop of plasma in midair. He’d never forget the impart on the creature’s flank, the initial flare of energy transfer, the scorched fragments of flesh and bone detonating outwards as the squealing beast shuddered aside. He’d never forget the stink of burned flesh.

Pulse weapon firing. They always remind me of David Drake "powerguns" the way they are described. In this case the damage mechanism seems to be a steam explosion-type effect, hybrid thermal and mechanical. Maybe it varies depending on setting.

Page 123
The Trial by Fire, they called it. After four tau’cyrs of service a shas’la would face the judgement of an examining commander to determine their progression of rank, following a demonstration of ability. Most Trials were artificial affairs: a complex series of simulations, courses and non-lethal combat in the battledomes. They were regarded as festivals; holidays during which all castes would come together in the colossal auditoria to cheer and speculate upon which warriors would be deemed worthy of promotion. There was no sense of “success” or “failure”—to remain a shas’la was without dishonour, a celebration of discovering one’s niche and serving the tau’va in the best possible fashion.
But there had always been incidents of the trials being eclipsed by external hostilities, and — ever pragmatic — the Shas’ar’tol saw no reason not to make use of the young shas’las. They could fight for the Greater Good whilst being judged; it was in many ways a purer test of their abilities.

The Tau "trial by fire" - seems to be part festival and part ceremony... which doesn't mean it isn't a test either.

Page 124
A knot of tau pathfinders — lightly armed scouts with little of the plate armour a line warrior sported — exchanged close fire with a black tide of gue’la troopers, their pale skin invisible beneath bulbous airmasks and flak jackets. Kais hurried to find the connecting door to the chamber, helplessly watching the combat as if on a por’hui screen.
The shas’las were being cut down one by one, flipped from their meagre cover by the chattering gue’la weapons then pulverised, disintegrating in liquid disarray, screams cut short. The colliding shells created a shivering hailstorm of ricochets across the floor, some even punching at the great viewing gallery windows that opened up to the void beyond, sending tiny fissures scuttling across the surface.

The storm troopers seem to be wearing flak jackets (instead of Carapace) and airmasks. Tau pathfinders, it would seem, have lighter armor than the Fire Warriors - that makes sense. That could also mean there are Fire Warriors with heavier armour

Page 128-129
At twenty-three he was transplanted from the 35th Octobian Regiment of the Imperial Guard to the StormTroop Assault-core, attached to the Battlefleet Ultima (Secundus) as an experimental specialist regiment of boarding infantry guards. The brutal complexities of ship warfare became his specialised field.
Under Nobilite Captain Ferringus he took part in no fewer than thirteen major boarding actions in his first few years: a variety of rogue traders and suspected pirate craft proving a more-than-trying opportunity to hone the storm-troopers’ abilities.
By the time he was thirty-five, Seylind had been promoted to captain, decorated twice more for his cool-headedness and efficiency, had personally founded three more regiments of storm-troopers for assignment aboard other fleets in other Segmenta, had conducted successful boarding missions against the orks, the eldar and three “stealer-infested space hulks; had received the gratitude of Governor Quotho following the elimination of a mercenary invasion force, and had been personally singled out to oversee the extension of the storm-trooper regiments to the Battlefleet Ultima Primus.

Clarification on the "storm trooper" boarding forces. They seem to be Guard forces deployed as a semi-permanant detachment force to various Navy ships, much in the way the Ghosts were assigned to a particular frigate. It makes sense., in a way, since it gives the Navy some sort of rapid-strike force they can deploy until a larger IG force arrives, as well as to complmeent their usual ground troops (naval ratings, armsmen, and/or NavSec.
It may even be this represents a "trade" of sorts between the Navy and the Guard - the Navy gets some highly trained and professional troops to station onboard starships, and the Guard gets something - my guess would be detachments of air craft (non-Starfighter lightnings or Thunderbolts, Valkyries and vultures, etc.)

Page 129
The insertion of tech-priests into the engine bay had been fraught with difficulties, but malfunctions aside, the teleporter had succeeded in delivering a pair of adepts. With his two most trusted secondaries, Seylind had occupied the surrounding decks, sealed the engine bay with a tri-lock (his third of which nestled securely in his utility holster) ..

The teleporter again.. and an interesting security device (tri lock)

Page 120
He smiled, arming his hellgun happily.

The Storm troopers have hellguns. Of some kind.

Page 130
Matter transmission had proved contrary to his expectations. He’d speculated upon a gravitic shift as the body adjusted between two localities in “overlapping” warp space, hypothesised upon the presence of emitted “waste” energy, sound and heat, and theorized upon the effects of matter occluded by existing dense material upon transmission.
He had not expected a blinding discharge of light, a sharp tug in all directions at once, the bewildering sensation of falling, then a coalescing series of sensory feedbacks containing screams, fountaining blood and the unpalatable aroma of singed hair. It didn’t take him long to conclude, in fact, that something had gone wrong.

Teleporters from an AdMech perspective.

Page 131
Adepts Armill and Nyssen had, it would appear, been reconstituted beyond the limit of the locarus engine; pulped flesh and blood scattered in a perfect circle around the boundary of the safe zone. This hypothesis would seem to explain the damage to his own body: he estimated thirty-five per cent of his left limb had been breaching the safety perimeter upon materialisation, neatly amputating it below the elbow. Had he any pain centres remaining he suspected, the injury would be agonising.

Adept Idow’s fate had been stranger still. Natsan had theorized that the locarus safe zone had overlapped part of the tau engine bay’s bulkhead, delivering Idow into the wall. His astonished features, flayed to a ruddy red liquescence and splattered by molten metal, leaned from the structural panel as if breaking the surface of a vertical pool.

Results of a failed teleportation.

Page 131
As far as Imperial intelligence was aware, the xenos possessed no teleport analogue technology, so there’d be no danger from that direction. Further, he had released two dozen of the armed servo-skulls into the ductways around the enginebay to patrol against any surreptitious entry from that quarter.

As far as I'm aware the Tau have demonstrated no teleport technology, but they may have some analogue in BFG. Also note the use of servo skulls for scouting and security.

Page 132
And finally, as if any living creature could penetrate so far, the upper levels of the construct, where he and Adept Rolan swiftly and silently worked to cripple the vessel’s engines and decrypt its datavised secrets, were bordered by a coruscating energy field. Natsan’s aggressive assault upon the vessel’s AI, a heretical intelligence that would be purged the instant it was no longer required, had yielded fruit quickly: he’d identified and implemented the shield device as a final, utterly impenetrable defence.

Thus reassured, he gathered the full enormity of his mental faculties— reasoning that such comprehensive security arrangements negated any need to spend time considering his safety — and focused on the console before him. The datum drones at his side blinked and chattered, ferociously eating away at the AI’s defences. The language decryption paradigm running in Natsan’s head decoded a string of characters and he stabbed at a sequence of controls, exposing yet another level of sophistication. Like some energistic equivalent of the gantry surrounding the powercore, the ship’s logic engine was a structured gem: a perfectly aligned arrangement of operative tiers and commands, symmetrical and cohesive. Had his sense of awe been complete, he suspected, he might actually be impressed by the technology’s complexity. As it was, the puritens surgery released a stream of disapproving endorphins into his mind, filling him with revulsion and making him all the more aware of the xenogens’ blatant disregard for the proper obeisance owed to the Machine God.

I guess the "Tri lock" is some sort of shielding device (probably some silly "mission" from the Fire Warrior game). Also w get the AdMech trying to hack into tau systems.

Also note the AdMech apparently has actual surgery designed to condition outright disgust in non-AdMehc (especially xenos) Tech. I imagine they enforce their doctrine/dogma through other similar conditioning (considering their penchant for replacing parts of their bodies with mechanical shit this can quite be liekly. Such as that Rite of pure thought.

And yet, they're willing to study or even learn/use the tech, it seems.

Page 133
The technology contained within that single pillar of silent componentry was utterly foreign, an impure antithesis of the arcane knowledge of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Natsan’s brief glimpse through a viewing portal had raised more questions than it provided answers, revealing a luminous green liquid gas swirling with convection currents and speckled by drifting, glowing particles of matter. When the tau vessel was captured he would relish uncovering its secrets.

Again, having disgust or disapproval for the Tau's technology doesn't mean they won't steal it for their own purposes. :P

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-02-03 02:21pm

Yet Another Fire Warrior Update

Page 136
For the tau, he thought, the One Path is a victory over individuality. It is gestalt over self, rationality over impulse, logic over spontaneity, focus over Mont’au…
But this thing, this creature with a scarred brain and a body more metallic than organic, this thing is rationality, it is logic, it is tau’va…
Is that what we’re trying to become, he asked himself? Painless, fearless, passionless… Monsters?

More on Tau ideology.. It's kinda interesting that Kais is contrasting himself to the AdMech in that regard... although 'm not sure they're quite the same. Still that whole "cog in a machine/Greater Good" thing is pretty... emotionless and mechanical.

Page 136-137
He squinted at the gue’la pistol, heart racing. A single sliver of shrapnel had gouged itself into the firing mechanism at the base of the weapon’s barrel, smoking with a burgeoning hiss.
The gue’la vanished beneath a cloud of fire, flames billowing outwards and hurling Kais to the floor. Unvented promethium ignited in a rush, an inverted waterfall of thermal fury that gushed over him and boiled upwards to lash impotently against the chamber ceiling.
He stooped to his feet when the inferno finally abated, methodically checking for injuries. The gue’la priest stood as it had been before the explosion, skin peeling back, extended gun arm obliterated at the shoulder, a rarified sculpture with charred skin. Kais, shaking his head to clear the exhaustion, thought its blackening features seemed somehow interested, as though analysing its own immolation. Its expression of scrutiny remained until its silvery eyes melted and the flames burned through from the inside of its skull.
Kais stood and watched it until it flopped to the floor and was still. He watched until the cables and tubules running throughout its frame began to liquefy and puddle around it. He watched until the reinforcements arrived and Lusha voxed him with an almost paternal expression of congratulation.
He stood and watched the flickering, crumbling husk until it atomised and gusted away, and as he watched he wondered which was worse: to surrender to rage or to become a living machine?

Plasma pistol overloads. Don't ask me where the promethium comes from. Promethium gets treated as starship fuel in this novel.

Page 137-138
There had been lights, glimpsed dimly around the distant mountaintops, for three rotaas. Stories spread amongst the armies of strange figures lurking in the mist of the hills, colourful attire and fluted limbs melting and capering through the haze. In the heat of battle few of the tribes gave any credence to the tales, stubbornly ignoring the phenomena that pulsed in the night sky, bending all their attention upon the hostilities that were tearing their world apart. On the final day the wind had carried strange resonances, swept aloft from the heights of the jagged peaks. They sounded, the Kilto histories recorded, like a choir of voices, raised in a song of impossible beauty.
And then the Auns had appeared. They came slowly, calmly — barefooted and unsullied by the hate and suspicion of their astonished brethren. They stepped between the campfires of the besieging army and appeared as if from nowhere within the impassable walls of the city.
And they talked. And as they talked, the tribes listened. They listened and they wondered, and they were filled with awe and reverence for these strange, graceful beings with their words of unity and progress.
And the gates of Fio’taun opened, so the legend went, and the tribes met unarmed for the first time, and their leaders were seated at a mighty round table named Chia’Gor. And the Auns talked until the spokesmen of the tribes summoned the courage to participate. And slowly, so gradually that even the fiery plains tribes were gently coaxed into harmony, the tau’va was born.

The coming of Ethereals to Tau society. notice how it resembles something from an Alien abduction story.

Page 141
Tyra had to admit that her beauty — legendary throughout the ship — was enough to drive any male to consider breaking caste. He quashed the thought with an embarrassed cough, wondering vaguely when his next summons from the Propagation Department would arrive. The Fio’os back on T’au, preoccupied with “optimum genetic compatibility”, orchestrated inter-caste couplings without prejudice or emotion, but still… Tyra found himself musing enviously upon which lucky por’el male would discover his name beside that of El’Yis’ten on the summons form.

Yet another wonderful aspect of Tau society - government-controlled (caste based) breeding programs for maximum efficiency. For the Greater Good. This means that breeding and sex life are regulated (for the greater good) by the 'Dynamic' tau society. I don't want to speculate beyond this but... euthanasia and population control would also be logical consequences of that and it's quite possible they practice this. We know about the "forced sterilization" they practice, which is just another aspect of what this quote is already talking about.

One can argue about whether this means the tau are evil or not, I would just point out from the tau POV they probably don't regard it as evil, but as neccessary for the Greater Good as they define it. From an Imperial POV, however, it probably is evil.

Page 142
“As it happens,” El’Yis’ten returned, “we have been attempting to contact the gue’la vessels. Is it not said that ‘no enemy is beyond the reason of the tau’va’?”
The Aun’el dipped his head in her direction, clearly gratified by her knowledge of the sio’t. “There are some who might disagree,” he said with a nod, “but the gue’la are not fools. They are, perhaps, ignorant — even shortsighted — but we must strive to forgive them their faults. They are the product of their history, not of their choice. We must attempt not to hate them.”

More of their unfailing belief in the Greater Good conquering all, and how it makes them inherently superior to those not part of the Greater Good. It is also interesting how they selectively apply that "no enemy is beyond the reason..." bit. I mean, I'm sure it works against Orks and 'Nids. :lol:

Page 142
"Our hails are either ignored or returned with viral data streams. Nothing threatening to our systems, of course, but hardly a diplomatic victory. I’m confident that if I can converse with ranking personnel rather than the machine constructs manning the comms I could make some headway.”

Like some forms of spam, the Imperium uses servitors to send them viruses as a response over their comms. And they still think they can reason with the Imperium. Of course, they're not beyond politicla/diplomatic manipulation either, but for the sake of this novel (or maybe its just the way this Ethereal rolls) they are actually genuine and honest and straightforward in their dealings with the Imperium.

Like the atrocities, it may just depend on the particular tau.

Page 143
"We can evade their main weapons indefinitely and, provided we remain alert and mobile, their boarding assaults will consistently fail. "

Tau have better mobility than Imperial starships.. at least once they're prepared.

Page 145

“Should I contact Rann? Perhaps they could spare us reinforcements?”
The ethereal smiled. “That won’t be necessary, Kor’o,” he trilled. “I summoned the flotilla two decs ago.”

Implies either some form of FTL communication the tau have, or they have some really fast couriers.

Page 145
"The gue’la grow more opportunistic with every rotaa. In the past tau’cyr alone there have been four sizeable breaches of the Dal’yth Treaty and countless smaller operations and incursions into our space. Until now the council within the Aun’t’au’retha has been reluctant to antagonise the gue’la, broadly tolerating these… infringements. The council places great importance upon good will. This episode, it would seem, has swung the balance."

“I contacted Aun’o T’au Kathl’an as soon as I was aboard the dropship that returned me from captivity…”

Again: How did they contact them? The tau have no FTL communications I am aware of, and they'd need to dispatch a courier.
Again it's interesting how they stress how patient and forbearing they've been with the Imperium's dishonest ways, considering that in other sources they've done the exact same thing. Perhaps they just got tired of being the nice guy and started playing nasty.

Page 146
"We each are called to serve the tau’va without question, but let us be under no illusion: the need to understand one’s niche is often powerful indeed. The Aun’chia’gor is a great tool in removing the reliance upon unthinking obedience. To become dependant upon such a thing would make us little better than the gue’la, with their stark Emperor and their blinkered, narrow little minds.”

An interesting contrast to some of the earlier assessments of "cog in the machine" and such. It would seem that the tau ideal is willing, intelligent compliance with the Greater Good, rather than enforced obedience. Of course, this is all genetically ingrained in the tau (and culturally reinforced, especially through the Ethereals) so it's easy for them. I imagine with their auxiliaries its a different thing.

On the other hand, it's also possible there is a fair bit of Tau arrogance or discrimination in this. They're not perfect, after all. Just 'dynamic' :lol:

Page 148
Half as tall again as an average man, they hulked above all the personnel around them, grey-green armour plates glinting dully in the light.

Raptors marines "half as tall again" as an average man.. meaning the average 40K human is 2/3 the height of a Space Marine. This means between 1.3-2 metres depending on exact Marine height (2-3 metres.)

Page 152
Disembodied and cadaverous, frail skin necrotic and sallow, pitted with maggotlike extrusions of circuitry and cabling. Its ancient lips, long since desiccated by age, were peeled back in a papery sneer to reveal the gap-toothed gums below, a network of bloodless flesh and exposed bone. From its abortive neck a thrumming anti-gravitic drive held it aloft. The ghoulish machine’s jawbone ratcheted open with an audible crack, hanging monstrously in a silent shriek. A gun barrel, hidden in the leering maw, briefly reflected an overhead light.
Kais blasted the ugly device into spinning fragments before it could fire, scattering the tight confines of the duct with scorched components and lumps of bone.

Servo Skull. I imagine that a pulse shot blowing it apart qualifies as head-exploding.

Page 153
He’d lost the top segment of his shoulder torso guard when a gutshot trooper had taken a respectable stab at blowing his head off. Kais had returned the favour with rather more success.

Another implied "head blowing apart" shot with a pulse rifle and possibly with a trooper's gun.

Page 155
El’Siet, his second in command for six tau’cyrs. Ruptured parts scattered across the deck, tendrils of brainsludge slithering down his control console.

El’Ver’sev’a, his personnel officer. They’d taken time with her, blowing off her limbs one at a time until she just lay there, emptying across the deck, too traumatised to even scream.

El’Gei’ven and El’Fay, the six kor’vres manning the comms and all the kor’uis and kor’las that hadn’t yet evacuated the bridge. Pulped. Shredded. Atomised and seared, knocked apart by hungry bolter shells or scorched into bubbling liquescence by all manner of vile, howling gue’la weapons.

Space Marines slaughter a Tau bridge crew. I have to admit I feel sorry for the poor guy and the tau getting butchered like that. Then again the Raptors are real assholes in this novel.

Page 157
Daggers hit the inside of Tyra’s mind. A splintering medley of pain, indescribable agony that violated every part of his brain, surged through his head, making him cry out in astonishment. Tendrils of fire, like superheated proboscises, examined his thoughts in a series of clumsy incisions.

Like a bubble rising to the surface of a pool of sludge, he could feel the knowledge of the ethereal’s whereabouts distending and blooming upwards, thirsting for light, coiling inexorably towards the burning pseudopodia that invaded his brain. Sensing the nearness of his prize, the librarian’s psychic assault strengthened, charring the very skin of Tyra’s face where his hand made contact.

Psychic powers used on a tau. Like in most novels (Kill Team, Black Tide) they are suscepitble to psychich manipualtion.

PAge 157
The kor’o was still screaming and flailing when the unhelmeted warrior’s pink features exploded in a gust of blood and brains. Tyra sagged gratefully to the floor, smoke coiling from his eyes and ears.

Librarian has its head exploded. The poor Tau officer has his brain literally fried by the psyker.

Page 158
The first one was a gift. He fragmented its ugly, exposed head from his concealment in the space beside the elevator.

Kais headshotting the librarian. I believe he was using a pulse carbine. A bit more imrpessive to head-explode a Marine than a normal head.

PAge 159-160
...the carbine’s underslung secondary parts as he went. He had time to squeeze the trigger just once before stumbling aside...
The grenade blew the top half of its armoured body into fragments of gore and ceramite, transforming the bridge into a bone-pocked atrocity and leaving the Marine’s disembodied legs, like the remains of a vandalised statue, planted stalwartly amongst the carnage.

Pulse carbine's "lethal" grenade launcher again. The grenade is c onsiderably more powerful than Real life grenades since it can blow a marine apart (or rather its torso.)

PAge 160
A bolter shell, fired from behind, ripped through the outer layers of his thigh armour and shredded a clod of weave fabric, detonating angrily as it spun away.

Bolt round easily penetrates Fire Warrior armor.

Page 161
Caught in the crossfire, bolter shells stabbed ugly holes through their armour before they could even protest, leaving ribbon trails of blood hanging in the air. The shells that had lodged inside them detonated one after another, sending the gue’la in an absurd jerking jig as they slumped to the floor, innards pulped, plasma weapons clattering to the deck.

Raptors hit by bolter fire from their comrades.

Page 162
A bolter shell tore into his helmet.
The impact flipped him backwards like a piece of paper, scattering the pixellated view of his HUD.

Kai takes a bolt round to the head.

Page 163
Ju didn’t think. She lifted her carbine and shot the gargantuan warrior over and over again, and didn’t stop when the rest of the team joined her. The figure seemed to glow briefly at the combined assault, then, with an aborted roar of pain and frustration, exploded. The mess on the bridge got worse.

Fire Warrior team/unit vs Raptor Space Marine. Severla seconds of a squad or team's worth of fire seems to explode the whole warrior. Several MJ total? triple digit kjs per fire warrior I suppose?

Page 164-165
11.26 HRS (SYS. LOCAL ~ DOLUMAR IV, Ultima Seg. #4356/E)
The tau flotilla erupted from the final tentative warp hop in the midst of a blue-green corona, dissipating energies blossoming and fading into the void. Some forty vessels, none remotely as large as their gue’la counterparts but awe-inspiring in their sleek manoeuvrability and sheer weight of numbers, slipped into reality on the edges of the Dolumar system and surged towards the gue’la fleet, still in dogged pursuit of the Or’es Tash’var. Their rounded prows reflected the muggy light of the system’s star, casting luminous lines across the bulbous outer hulls of their fellows.
In no time the flotilla was lost beyond the view from the gallery window and the dignitaries turned to the kor’vre at the chamber’s sole monitoring console.
The kor’vre studied the complex series of icons and projection vertices lacing the screen. “The flotilla’s slowing to engagement speed,” he murmured. “The gue’la are scattering. Trying to get round without engaging.”

I wonder where the tau flotilla was hiding? They'd have gotten there as fast as the Imperium did (within hours) from Tau space one imagines.

Anyhow they seem to cross the distance into the system pretty quickly and engage the Impeirum with 40 or so vessels.

Page 166
“Harry the fleet, Kor’o. We’ll target the flagship ourselves.”
“O’Udas… Do we have sufficient manpower for this?”
“I believe so, Aun’el. The boarding shuttles are operational at least, so insertion shouldn’t be an issue… providing we can knock through the shields, that is.”

The Tau flagship supposedly has capability in some fashion to go toe to toe with Emperor Class battleship.

Page 167
[We’re outnumbered two-to-one. Either we fight or we flee. There’s no way around.]

[Admiral! They’re trying to board you!]
++They can’t. The shields will h—++
[Picking up plasma fire.]
[Living god! Look at that payload!]
++They’ve knocked out my shield! Assist! Assist!++
[I’m engaged. Can’t get away—]
[Oh terra! They’ve g—]
The Reverus has gone…]
[Sweet Emperor… They’re so fast…]

We don't quite know when Fire Warrior takes place, but it would seem the Tau learned their lesson in Damocles Gulf, but I'd guess somewhere in Mid 900's of the 41st Millenium. They're kicking the Imperium's ass (so far) but they have surprise and numbers on their side. And to be fair ot the Imperial Navy, its not like they massacre them (but then again the Imperium doesn't massacre them, either.)

It also is pretty irrational (but fitting with their own doctrine) that they'd dispatch an entire battleship class vessel, unsupported, just to recover a bloody Ethereal. It's a shame the Imperium consistently fails to exploit this flaw (like, you know, at Taros.)

Page 168
Strapped into a one-tau pod like an insect moulded into a bullet, the shuttle tube was little more than a vast railgun: linear energies dragging the pod along a frictionless tunnel with a succession of sonic booms. The view through the small window above his face stopped making any sense as the pod’s velocity increased exponentially and the rounded struts of the tunnel became a single tawny-coloured smear.

Railgun-launched boarding pod.

Page 169
So they rearmed and resulted, filled their packs with as much wargear as they could carry, distributed miniature kor’vesa slave drones, strapped each other into hypervelocity capsules and were unceremoniously blasted at the beaked vulture-shape that was the Enduring Blade.

Fire Warrior equipment carried for ship-to ship boarding assault of an Emperor-class battleship.

Page 169
The dud bolter-shell might detonate at any moment, he supposed, failed gue’la artifices fizzling to life and blasting his head from his shoulders.

For the rest of the novel, Kais has a dud bolter shell in his helmet. It's a symbol I think of his madness or something. It also indicates what we know from lots of other sources - bolters can blow heads apart.

Page 169
“Shas’las? We’ve overloaded their void shields but they won’t stay down for long. Shuttle trackers have a lock on their
juntas-side launch bays, so that’s your insertion point."

the Tau have to lower their void shields before the boarding torpedoes can penetrate. That either means that boarding ships need more than just slow velocity to penetrate, or thoes Tau pods are moving damn fast.

Page 170-171
It happened again and he frowned, confused. Above, high on the architectural mountain, bright pinpricks of las-fire and shrapnel flak stabbed from the vessel’s vaulted, pitted hull, detonating spectacularly around the ghostly arrowheads of tau fighters that soared past, burst cannons dissecting great blocks of obsidian armour. Another petal of fire oozed past him, close, and he realised with a quickening heartbeat that the gue’la were firing at the hail of capsules as well as the fighters.

Tau fighters (what kinds, we dont know) making attack runs on the Enduring blade

Page 178
They’d disabled the weapons, they’d crippled the shield...
Then the orders had come through, Lusha’s voice sounding broken and distorted by whatever dampening shields the gue’la ship employed...

Imperial ships have some comms-disrupting tech.

Page 179-180
Checking the blacksun-fil—. Hold… Zone clear. Moving on.”
“Scan track? Scan track?”
“High-level ye’qua’li radiation. Probable enemy presence.”
Within instants of the helmet scanners detecting movement the team split, a textbook left-right division. Those to the rear could provide cover in case of a fallback and the line warriors nearest the targets could lay down pinning fire. Thus covered, the secondary and tertiary pairs — carrying rifles — could take a more accurate bead on the enemy. Standard, routine: proven to work.
Kais had no patience for it. He shredded the first wave of gue’la with a grenade even as they rounded the corner ahead, then pumped carbine fire into the heads of the others as they staggered, shellshocked and gore-splattered, from the smoke. They went down in a tangle, pulped skulls shredding like overripe griy’na fruits, limbs twitching and clawing at the air.
The other shas’las never fired a single shot.

Kai's skills vs other Tau. Grenade shredding multiple humans, as well as the pulse fire exploding heads.
Also note their helmet scanners seem to be motion sensors. They also carry blacksun filters and scanners to detect.

Page 181
He activated his blacksun filters, nictitating lenses sliding across his helmet optics. Instantly the world was rendered lurid and kaleidoscopic, long corridor daubed in bright green hues. Rodents — bristling patches of bright yellow and white — lurked in the shallow gullies to either side of the deck grille. But there was something else: at the top of the hall where the path turned sharply to the left, a nebulous haze of yellows and oranges wafted ethereally across his vision. There was something warm up there.

Blacksun filters in operation. IR vision basically.

Page 184
They were bold, these tau. He’d imagined beings of far greater restraint and self-repression; in the last years the Imperium had openly flouted their territorial treaty and the xenos had rolled over and taken it, uncomplaining.
He hadn’t imagined in a thousand years that they’d summon the courage and recklessness required to attack an Imperial warship, the fools. He almost pitied them. Almost.

Governor Severus contemplating the Tau. Again it seems like the Tau have been far more polite since Damocles Gulf than the Imperium has.. which is interesting considering how conniving they get later on.

Page 184-185
Ten long years he’d prepared for this, and still the sheer strength of it had almost overwhelmed him. Contacting the Administratum had been difficult enough, a thousand tiers of bureaucracy to stunt the progress of his proposal and frustrate his efforts. Then, when finally the funds were made available and the idiots on Terra had given him their official and enthusiastic sanction to continue, there had begun the laborious task of raising up his prison-citadel and his grinding, smoking factories, finalising every tiny detail.

Implies that in a decade (or at least within his adult lifetime) he's settled, raised an industrious and fairly important planet, as well as asetting his plans into motion to capture the Ethereal. By Imperial standards, thats a blistering pace to colonize and develop a world.

Page 186
Two had been lost to a gue’la ambush, rushing around a blind corner and erupting messily beneath streamers of gunfire, bodies jerking and shuddering as they toppled backwards. After he’d fragmented the humans, blithely rolling unarmed grenades along the corridor and gunning down the troopers as they quit their cover to flee, he’d been uncomfortably aware of the others glaring at him as he silently helped himself to the dead shas’las’ ammunition and supplies. It was standard procedure — cool and efficient — but nobody expected it to be easy. He suspected the others thought of his detachment, his numbness, as being somehow… unnatural.

More tau grenades blowing apart humans. The other tau don't seem to take well to Kais' tactics, though.

I like the fact that while its standard procedure to loot bodies for resources, they resent the fact that Kais actually does this with detachment. It's that sort of "theory vs practice" touch I like to see in 40K. There's no reason that the Tau government/bureacracy should be any less retarded than the Imperium's.

Page 187
Operating as part of a unit was an expectation placed upon every tau. “Never alone,” the Auns said. His isolation was a constant reminder of his flaw, and he hated it.

Tau put greater emphasis on teamwork and group tactics. Kais naturally considers his inability to fit in to be a flaw.

Page 191
Mito flicked infra-red filters across his eye-lenses distractedly, disappointed by the lack of obvious targets.

Infrared filters on Raptor armor. I've never seen them have to lower lenses to do this though.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-02-08 03:07pm

Double update for Fire Warrior, mainly to finish it off. Next I'll probably move to either the Green Armageddon novels or Iron Hands.

Anyhow fire Warrior.. we get Titan vs Fire Warrior, Chaos vs Fire Warrior, and so on. Its' interesting how the novel shifts entirely in the latter half.. its not 'Imperium vs Tau' its 'Imperium vs Chaos.' and we also get one of those rare cases of the Tau being forced to face the insanity of daemons and Chaos Space Marines.

Part 1

Page 194-195
Bits of grey-green armour, lined by slabs of flesh, littered the pulverised hallway. He clucked his tongue, impressed at the tiny drone’s destructive legacy.
It had been a uniquely odd experience, deploying the little robot through an access hatch and feeding its non-sentient AI the simple commands it required. Kais had found it hard to not draw parallels between his own situation and the drone’s: both were mindless cogs in a rumbling machine, expected to do their duty without question or resentment.
Just as Lusha had watched his progress via the optics of his helmet, Kais could sneak inside the drone’s vision and ride, spellbound, as it lurked amongst the shadows of the corridors.
He’d never moved so fast, consciousness gyrating and corkscrewing with impossible precision, the drone’s sensors chattering and whistling in his ear as it estimated fire trajectories and ran the gauntlet. He’d barely even seen the Marines — just green smudges of reflected light and chattering gunfire, growing gradually nearer with each hectic manoeuvre. Contact severed with a static hiss as the faithful little drone completed its approach and triggered the high-density kles’tak explosives packed throughout its chassis. Nothing had survived.

Drone deployed explosive munition to take out the Raptors. Rather clever. Also interesting how he can preprogram it, but also tap into its sensor feeds and watch what happens.

Page 195
Kor’o Dal’yth Men’he piloted his vessel with the consummate ease and confidence characteristic of his rank and caste. The Tel’ham Kenvaal swung in a balletic spiral, rolling onto its side like a whale and disgorging another withering salvo of plasma orbs, railgun shells and AI-piloted torpedoes.
His target moved far too slowly to evade the barrage, its harsh gue’la hull twisting in a last-ditch attempt to present stern before the payload imparted across its belly. Fire and debris vomited into the vacuum, building-sized blocks of masonry and metal tumbling endlessly away in a clutching halo of cable tendrils.

Not sure if he's piloting a fighter, some sort of escort, or perhaps something like those manta fighter substitutes. Whatever it is... Imperial STarships actually seem to use stone and masonry on board... :lol:

Page 196
A torpedo alarm gonged serenely and Men’he tapped at a sequence of control drones almost without thought. Immediately a squadron of Barracudas broke off from the dogfight raging along the Kenvaal’s toroq-side hull and ghosted into the firing line to intercept. Nuclear blooms flourished and dwindled in a heartbeat as the missiles were efficiently hunted and crippled, kor’vre pilots chattering their shorthand command language across the squadron-comm. A solitary torpedo evaded their careful ministrations and Men’he rolled his eyes wearily.
“Chaff,” he grunted out loud, not for the first time.
A swarm of blocky drones slipped silently from a hatchway beside the Kenvaal’s batteries and threw themselves at the torpedo. Whatever crude gue’la intelligence was directing the tumbling missile, successfully avoided two of the heat seeking machines before a third, random pulses of magnetic interference scrambling its guidance, flew serenely into its warhead. The detonation fell just short of the damage zone.

Tau countermeasures. Missiles with nuclear warheads.

Page 196
A Mako-class warship — smaller and slower than the Kenvaal but bristling with railgun emplacements and arms-factories — breached the top of Men’he’s viewscreen and emptied a confetti of drone-piloted fusion capsules at the human vessel. Like swimming insect larvae, the bright pinpricks of light swarmed and circled around their victim, closing in on carefully selected targets before unleashing the actinic energies sealed within them.
The sight made Men’he think of a huge grazebeast carcass, stuffed full of firecrackers and t’pre’ta decorations. It bucked and shivered from the inside, a living fire eating away at its flesh and leaving only the brittle, charred skeleton beneath.

More fusion warhead type things I suspect. I don't know what the "arms-factories" are - implying perhaps that Tau warships manufacture their own ordnance?

Page 197
On all sides the toothy slabs of the gue’la fleet were outmanoeuvred and overrun by the smaller tau vessels, innumerable fighters and attack craft vying for superiority in the abyssal spaces in between.

Tau ships seem to be smaller, but faster and more agile.

Page 197
Men’he silently thanked the earth caste for their breathtakingly intelligent computers, at a loss to understand how the gue’la could even begin to decipher such complex tactical showdowns without the benefit of automated systems.
Manpower, he supposed. A hundred thousand humans for every tau in the galaxy — that was the current intelligence estimate. Each of those ugly angular warships was a world, a population of servile ratings and crew without a single freedom beyond the ability to worship their cruel, blinkered gargoyle-god. Every missile fired at them, every fusion capsule shredding its atoms in a purple welt of radiation and fire, was genocide on his part.

Tau AI and drone control vs Imperial approach (which is surmised to be solely manpower.. which is sort of true but not wholly, since we know their ships typically have their own machine spirits.. hell there's a captain in this novel actually wired into his ship)
Also 100,000 humans for every tau. This implies their populations are in the tens or hundreds of billions if we assume there are quadrillions of humans. Going the other way (knowing a single sept world holds billions/tens of billions of tau, based on stuff like Planetstrike/apocalypse and Kill Team) we know there are quadrillions of humans in the galaxy. Either way it seems to mesh to within an order of magnitude.

Page 197
The Or’es Tash’var, battered hull dappled with soot patches and protruding boarding craft, circled the Enduring Blade slowly. The two vessels, prow-to-prow, moved around one another like veteran prize fighters, each unwilling to present broadsides for fear of absorbing as much damage as they might inflict. Thus stalemated, they gyrated ponderously...

Emperor class Battleship vs its tau equivalent. Again it seems like the Tau has learned their lessons and built warships capable of duelling it out with the Imperium's best. How common such vessels are... we don't know.

Page 213-214
When the xenogen invader crept into the bridge and liquefied his body in a gust of thermal energy, Ensign Kilson was smiling serenely.
The bridge died.
The meltagun was heavy in Kais’s grip, a blocky cumbersome thing that lacked the lightweight grace of his carbine. When he’d prised it from the mutilated grip of a dead Space Marine in the chapel below, he’d inspected the various coils and switches that clung like scales to its base.
It didn’t shoot so much as dissolve its victims. He stood with legs planted sturdily, arm muscles bunched to support the growling, churning weapon. A splayed column of superheated air roared from its rounded muzzle; a devastating horizontal fountain that blasted flesh and bone apart like ash in a gale. The armsmen, supposedly guarding the bridge, were the first to go, shotguns igniting in their hands before they could even be brought to bear. Brass-mounted consoles slewed away in a waxlike sheen of melted surfaces and burning components, drizzling liquid metals across the room.
A trio of servitors, blade-limbs grasping out for him, slunk away like snow devils in the sun. Their flesh peeled off in a second, leaving asymmetrical frames to twitch and shudder as their lubricants ignited and their strut supports melted to nothingness. The last few gue’la, hair singed and clothes scorched, exchanged terrified glances and sprinted clear. He enveloped them in the fusion stream and watched, heart racing, as they floundered and flapped and became part of the deck.

Kais using an Astartes meltagun to return the earlier favor and slaughter an Imperial bridge crew. I found this to be equally creepy, especially given it was largely form Kais' POV of being numbed and detached.

Page 217
He’d regroup the Fleet Primus, file an immediate request for backup from the Secundus and Tertius armadas, then obliterate every last one of the grey-skinned abominations currently wreaking havoc aboard his vessel.

Implies there are at least 3 'fleets' - whether its a battlefleet total, or what We don't know. assuming the fleets were of roughly the same size they might have 60 or so warships, which would be about Battlefleet size.

Page 223
A sequence of algorithms interrogated all incoming data for security breaches or hidden frequencies and wordlessly deposited the filtered remains into a carrier package reserved for the por’hui media. These developments would be considered high priority, the little AI quickly established, and sought to edit them into some sort of intelligible sequence.

Tau Orbital satellite drones, processing data it has recieved. It even does some editing for the Tau media/propgoanda machine.
Pag 224
A personnel shuttle left the tau fleet, enveloped in a solid phalanx of fighters. 66.G ran a routine scan, detecting seventeen distinct lifesigns aboard the central craft. One bore the unique energy signature of an ethereal, and in immediate response the drone’s stabilisers began to charge in anticipation of movement.
The Tash’var’s AI released a quick databurst to the various drones and computer controlled craft lurking at the periphery of the scene: negating directives designed to protect Auns at any cost, their guardianship uncalled for in this instant.

Tau drone witnessing the Ethereal going over to the Imperial starship to negotiate a cease fire. Rather interesting that the ethereal not only has an energy signature, but it is distinct from other Tau. Also, much as the tau are genetically ingrained to obey and protect ethereals, so are their machines and the can only be overriden by direct command.
anyhow, I suspect that the "energy signature" is probably whatever it is that makes an Ethereal impose such calm and obedience nad disicplined behaviour on Tau society.

Page 226 - one hilarious thing here is that the Tau diplomatic caste is wearing tau-made analogues of Imperial milistary uniforms (officers jackets, greatcoats, hats, storm trooper gasmasks, etc.) apparently in some bizarre attempt to establish rapport. It also just goes to show how poorly the Tau understand humans, and how little an effort they seem to have made to try.

Page 235
A didactic memory at the base of Kais’s mind chipped in efficiently, identifying an hour as two thirds of a dec.

Tau/human time conversions.

PAge 250
Chaos. The antithesis of order. The “Great Terror”. To investigate too far into the whys and wherefores of the Dark Power was to become clouded and tainted by it, so great was its potency. The mysterious agents of the Inquisition’s Ordo Malleus spent centuries struggling to bind and purge the madness, fully aware of the futility of conventional sciences and technologies. Instead the Taint, the very concept of Chaos, was embroiled behind a paradigm of religion and occultism, a stringent galactic code that stated clearly: the Emperor’s light is pure. All else leads to Chaos.
It was bound to the warp. It was bound to the real and the unreal together, it was bound to those things invisible in the mundane colours and clamours of materiality: thoughts, feelings, spirits and souls and angels and devils.
Chaos was a thing of division and conflict and contrast, a thing of anarchy and insanity. It would pull down the structures of humanity; of the universe; of time itself. It would shatter the galaxy for the reward of a pretty noise or murder a million billion men just to appreciate the hue of their fluids. It came from nowhere and went to nowhere.

Ardias contemplates about Chaos, the true enemy of this novel. The only relevant bit is to "murder a million billion men" which implies how many humans might be in the galaxy (to some magnitude.)

Page 253
In a vessel as ancient and labyrinthine as an Emperor-class battlecruiser, subsidiary control rooms and communication hubs lurked in myriad corners. Given enough time, a seeker could locate any resource aboard a ship of such magnitude.

The Enduring blade is described as Emperor class, but also as a virtual maze full of lots of pointless and redudnant rooms, it would seem.

Page 253-254
“Shas’o? There’s something happening on the battle-cruiser…”

“The drones are picking up energy signatures. Weaponsfire, maybe.”
“See if you can raise anyone.”
“Their communications shields are still operative.”

They can pick up energy fire on the ship, but their communications are still blocked/jammed. Rather interesting, although blocking active measures (like comms) does not prevent passive measures from getting out.

Page 255
The kor’ui passed a long finger through a sense beam and abruptly a storm of white noise rippled across the bridge.

"sense beam" - some sort of starship control.

Page 255-256
Chaos, warp take your eyes! Chaos!”
O’Udas frowned. The gue’la’s voice was full of certainty and conviction, as if he was expected to recognise the name of this alleged enemy. The word was delivered with terrible resonance.
“‘Chaos’?” he repeated, unfamiliar syllables sitting awkwardly on his tongue.
The voice replied with heavy exasperation: “Oh, you don’t… I haven’t time to explain. The dark powers! The warp taint! Evil!”
“This is ridiculous. I won’t listen to another w—”
“We’d know about it. An army doesn’t just spring from nowhere.”

Kais ends up associating Chaos with the 'Mont'au' shit from earlier, which I guess is the closest that the tau can come to understanding it, so far. Unsurprisingly, the tau have no inkling or understanding of what Chaos is, and dismiss it as superstition and hyperbole. Which onyl goes ot show how lucky they are to rarely run into it. I also regard it as another example of tau arrogance.

Page 256
O’Udas shuffled his feet. To reveal the shortcomings of their technology was unthinkable but… Without the Aun, they had nothing left to lose.
“We can’t contact our units,” he said, neutralising his voice to dampen the significance of the admission. “There’s a signal-retardant field around your vessel.”
“External comms have been opened, xenogen,” it said.

Again comment on the comms-blocking device on the ship. Like with the teleporters, the Imperium has some technologies that are better than what the Tau have (at this point, at least.)

Page 264
The burstcannon was far more graceful than the blocky meltagun. He vaguely recalled prising it, sticky with blood, from the grasp of a fragmented shas’ui in the concilium. Its lines were smooth and crafted, its balance perfect. He thumbed the trigger and didn’t let go.
It was a living thing in his hands. A barrelled lance that foomed breathlessly, churning out a strobefire-barrage of pulse drops. Like rain, he thought. Like a water stream, filled with iridescent impurities.

Kais has upgraded his weapons again. This time he's carrying some sort of Fire-warrior portable burst cannon. It also implies that whatever ammo it fires, its light weight enought hat tons of it can carry.
You also have to wonder why more troops wouldn't carry it. You'd think a support weapon like that in Fire Warrior teams would be useful (like the grenade launcher firing destructive grenades rather than glorifying flashbangs.)

Page 265
A single dec. One point five human “hours’.

More Tau/human time conversion. As far as I am aware this has remained unchanged.

Page 266
The voice had said that “they”—whoever they were — had struggled with the tau communication frequencies. It said he should consider himself lucky. The voice said that thanks to the Grace of the Emperor, they’d been able to latch on to his helmet code to reach him.

"They" being Ardias of the Ultramarines, showing the Imperium can hack into (and keep the tau from hacking back into) Tau comms. Again, the technological superiority of the Tau is not compltely one sided (unlike some sources I could name..)

Page 266
There was almost no recoil and he delighted in the churning stream of teardrop plasma, biting and gnawing through the smoke and haze that seemed to have filled every last corner of this infectious, ruined ship.

Burst cannon have no recoil, at least the kinds that Kais can carry doesn't. Whether this is identical to the ones Battlesuits carry or not, I don't know, but assuming the burst cannon fire sthe same 'calibre' of ammo as a pulse rifle or carbine, one imagines those rifles have no recoil either.

Page 278
"There was a beginning two days ago, when I captured a high-ranking tau ethereal on behalf of the Imperium. There was a beginning when I contacted Fleet Admiral Constantine to request a squad of specialist troops for that very job. There was a beginning, oh yes, twenty-three years ago when I arrived on Dolumar IV. It hasn’t changed much, this world. Did you know that? Oh, we built the odd factory, the occasional town, that sort of thing. But it’s what’s… underneath that counts."

"There was a beginning twenty-one years ago, when Magos-explorator Carneg visited me after a routine survey of the eastern mountains."

All the events up to this point have happened in the space of two days - the space battle, the fights on the gruond, the arrival of the Imperial and Tau fleets, etc.
And once again Dolumar IV was set up as an Imperial world in a realtively short period of time - less than a generation. Oh its also the site of a giant chaos ritual thingy where a giant horde of daemons is kept. Guess who they're fighting now?

Page 279
"It dragged a net of nightmares across the sector. It toppled a dozen systems, murdered a hundred planets. It spread the Dark Word throughout the Segmentum and doused a hundred cities in blood and plague and stink. "
"Then it reached Dolumar IV."

The aforementioned Chaos horde devastated a sector.. a hundred worlds and a dozen systems.

Page 280-281
Just when Tarkh’ax was at the height of his power, when all the filth of the galaxy was drawn to his banner, when a Black Crusade into the Segmentum Solar seemed unavoidable, the eldar got involved.
“Oh, don’t ask me how or why. Maybe some broad-minded Imperium fop decided that consorting with aliens has benefits over total annihilation. Ironic, wouldn’t you say, how history repeats itself? One way or another the eldar came to Dolumar and began to cause difficulties. They are a shrewd breed; cunning in the extreme and impossible to predict. They harried the warhost and vanished, popping up in strange places. Like ghosts.
“It turns out — and it took me three years of borrowing xenolinguitor servitors to unravel this — that the eldar established quickly that their hopes of annihilating Tarkh’ax and his forces were scant. They opted instead for a sly solution.
They opened up a sealed pocket of warp-space… part of a ‘webway’, the text says. We can’t even begin to fathom its workings but… I like to think of it as a cage, outside of space and time, cut off even from the warp. They closed off all the exits, detached it from their network of warp tunnels and sealed the gateways behind them.
“The mightiest of their warlocks, commanded by the Farseer Jur Telissa, constructed a ‘songweave’—like a psychic melody, holding it together, stitching the prison closed piece by piece. Out on the plains Tarkh’ax was moments from crushing their forces when the spell was finished and… Hh…A-and every last unit, every daemon and Marine, every warp thing and every warrior in that glorious army — disappeared. "
“The effort killed almost all the eldar warlocks. Small comfort.”
“Imagine,” he hissed, the sensation too much to bear, “being sealed away for three thousand years, unable to move or think or feel. Cut off from the rage and the power of your gods. Separated by impossible energies from the howling, insane fury of your daemonlord."

And the Eldar have their say and banish the creature (At teh cost of a bunch of warlocks).. feats which Severus has undone. You have to wonder why they haven't remained aware of this, or tried to stop Severus from trying to free this guy if they sacrificed so much to stop them from the beginning (you know, like Dawn of War?) but who knows. Maybe the Eldar were busy elsewhere. Or they Foresaw tht they wouldn't have ot get involved and didnt bother. The Eldar are funny that way.
The manner of banishment is rather interesting.. it either implies they created some sort of webway-like "prison" or they used an existing part of the webway and sealed up the ends to trap the daemon army.

Page 282-283
"Sorcery has a high cost, gentlemen. It’s paid in blood and souls and hate."
"Thanks to your little conflict, thanks to all those tau killed by human hands — and vice versa — more than enough blood was spilled to fuel the final little act. The walls came tumbling down. I set the army free."

The costs of sorcery. What's interesting here is that for the purposes of sorcery, the tau souls contributed something. I'm not sure if this means they're considered "equal" or anything, or what, but it's interesting nonehtless, considering the tau have no psykers to speak of.

Page 284
...Enduring Blade hung enormously in the void. Its ruined generarium vented white hot promethium fuel in a ghostly trail as it lurched slowly, carcass prow splintered and battered, broadside weapons batteries reduced to gaping, toothless maws.

First a plasma gun firing promethium, now a starship reactor running on promethum. Clearly, they must be running diesel fusion technology like Star Wars does! :lol:

Page 286
Outside of his mind a recorded servitor voice announced calmly that the drop pod had just punctured the mesosphere. Crude target seeking arrays, in the absence of any user input coordinates, identified a major population/energy reading within the troposphere, probably surface-based, and adjusted its descent to accommodate. A klaxon trilled once, almost perfunctory in its lacklustre volume, and the servitor voice reminded its occupants to batten down any cargo and ensure that all vehicular freight was adequately secured. Human passengers, it droned, were advised to check the straps of their deployment booths.

Kais is unsecured in the pod and yet survives. And despite its crudity, this is perhaps one of the more sophisiticated escape pods/drop pods I have seen on an Imperial starship. I mena it has servitors, sensors, etc...

Page 287
vOrbsat 66.G could sense the abundance of weapons descending towards the surface. Munitions, artillery, vehicles: all deployed in a succession of different sized pods and shuttles, dipping their armoured bases and plummeting daggerlike, swallowed by perspective within moments.
The tau flotilla, positioned carefully opposite its black-hulled counterparts, efficiently disgorged a growing swarm of dropships. Soaring gulls to the humans’ graceless divehawks, they descended in progressive V-shaped waves, flanked by Barracuda fighters and drone-operated Harpedoes. Orbsat 66.G tracked a Dorsal-class heavy bomber as it rolled into the ionosphere in a gust of blue energy and was gone.

Both Imperial and Tau forces sseem to have possessed significant troop, artillery and vehicle complements, and they were deploying them on-planet. I wonder why the Imperial fleet's warships were carrying artillery and vehicles.. was this part of that "Storm trooper" detachment mentioned earlier? Alternately it may refer to something i remember form a White Dwarf article on Naval crews in ground warfare - they could dismount some guns from the starship (where they would I have no freaking clue, since most guns, even the point defense ones, are bigger than anything smaller than a titan could mount.) and deploy them on the ground, supposedly.
I also want to know what a harpedo is.

Page 288-289
"The Purgatus,” the assessment reported, noting an elaborate array of cannon lances protruding from the vessel’s flanks and an ancient battle scar on the uppermost toroq spires — clearly repaired with more recent metallurgical techniques: telltale identifying marks, like pectoral wounds on an alpha t’pel shark. “Retribution class,” the report said. Impossibly ancient. Impossibly powerful.
Growing energy emissions from the swollen gun ports...
The lance clusters developed a ruddy glow, faint deck lights surrounding their positions dimming even further as power was brutally redistributed. A corona began to form, a shifting zone of arcing electricity and vacuum-guzzled gases.
Orbsat 66.G sensed the energyspike in a sub-real spectrum moments before the weapons fired. In a flurry of glow-tipped torpedoes deployed from peripheral launch bays, the central cannon belched a solid stream of plasma-energy, secondary and tertiary weapons-fire clustered around its core like tributaries.
The first shot sliced open the Enduring Blade like a warm slab of poi’sell, melting its structure with colossal precision. Explosions and abortive mushroom-cloud gouts of superheated air marred the edges of the incision — dwarfed by the scale of the scene and rendered insignificant; little more than sparks at the tip of a hammer-struck anvil.
The second strike, as the Enduring Blade rolled serenely end over tip, punctured the cavernous wreckage of the engine stacks and punched a mighty bolt hole the length of the carcass — a blazing lance that glowed through the portholes and gaps in the infrastructure and knocked a solid chunk of the wedge prow into razor-shrapnel; an exit wound full of fire and zero-gravity liquid metal, tumbling and accreting.
The ship rolled again, displaying the devastation of the first shot like a proud veteran dragging tight the skin around his flesh wounds to exaggerate his scars of honour. The third shot, accompanied by a precision-targeted swarm of torpedoes, stabbed deep into the wound and, the watching drone surmised, dissected a promethium fuel line.

A Retribution class "battlecruiser" lances the Enduring Blade to death along with torpedo bombardment.. More promethium fuel lines.

PAge 295-296
“The sio’t teaches us that evil is a falsehood,” he said, clutching at the display wafer in his pouch. “A-all truth is subjective. Evil is just valour, regarded from a different perspective.” He tried to put conviction into his voice, attempting to believe the dogma.
“Spare me your heresy!” the Marine voxed, angry. “How can you doubt the evidence of your own eyes?”
“Answer me! How do you fight this?”
“Ceaselessy, xeno. Ceaselessly.” The voice sounded tired suddenly, sighing heavily over the bolterfire chattering in the background of the channel. “This thing… this ‘Chaos’. You need to forget everything you know when you fight it. Do you believe that superior numbers matter? Do you think the calibre of your weapon, or… or the strength of your armour will avail you now? They won’t. There are no longer any rules. There are no approved tactics. All you can do, xenogen, is the best that you can."
"Listen to me, and remember: the greatest weapon you can possess in this struggle is not a plasma gun, or a bolter, or an entire armoury of tanks and cannons. It’s in your head, do you hear me? You need faith.”
Kais couldn’t conceal his scorn. “Faith in a shrivelled corpse? That’s your advice, is it? That’s your mighty power?”

Ardias argues (lectures) with Kais over the nature of Chaos. Once again it shows both the arrogance/confidence of the Tau in their Greater Good, and their belief they have everything figured out, and the dangers such a mindset creates. It's one of the best parts of the novel for me, and it echoes some of those early 40K novels like Inquisiton War or Pawns of Chaos.
One ofthe more interesting aspect sof Tau society in 40K, and one that constantly gets ignored in favor of the masturbation over how "dynamic" they are and how the Greater Good makes everything better and how great their tech is, is that the Tau are a new player on the galactic stage, and they have a shit-ton to learn if they are going to survive in the bigger galaxy - that there are things like the Tyranids, Chaos, etc. just waiting to swallow and devastate them. If this were 2nd edition, you'd have a sort of contrast of the Tau trying to hold onto their "Greater Good" and their optimism against a gritty, dark and bleak galaxy trying to destroy or defeat them.
But instead we have 'dynamic', Authorial-fiat driven tau, which is why I suspect they are so disliked.

Page 298-300
“Geneprint acknowledged,” a pleasant AI voice — feminine in its cadence (at his request)—trilled. “Welcome, Shas’el T’au Lusha.”
He grinned at the greeting, relaxing. The familiar flurry of claustrophobia and suffocation tension, natural responses to incarceration within such limited space, drained quickly away. A HUD faceplate — slightly larger and more complex than that of a line trooper’s helmet — descended into position above his face and swung forwards. He let his eyes accustom to the bright multi-spectral world and waited until his optimal focal distance was reached. An incautious setup could result in squinting, eye strain and migraine, none of them particularly desirable in the middle of a pitched battle.
“Stop,” he commanded. The creeping faceplate settled to a halt and locked off with a pleasant chime. He noted with some irritation that it was fractionally closer to his eyes than for his last mission and mused sadly to himself upon the nature of growing old. He’d have to visit the fio’uis to see about some bionics, soon.
“Status checks,” he grunted into the microphone array, tensing the muscles of his arms and legs rhythmically to prevent cramps. A group of spongy restraints like knuckled digits closed around the back of his skull, gently but firmly restraining his head. The comm toned serenely.
“Lock down and interleave. Interface insertion in five raik’ans.”
The battlesuit’s servos came to life with a quiet nimble, quickly fading to near silence. A low whine came from behind him, complex machinery sliding on well oiled rails into position. He winced, preparing himself. He hated this part.
A needle, little more than a monofilament sliver of metal, punctured his skull three tor’ils above the terminus of his cir’etz scales and entered his brain.
The nausea ran its familiar jig through his guts, forcing another wince. His fingers and hoof joints curled in reflex as their connections to his motor neurones were temporarily interrupted. The feeling, he reminded himself, was not unlike falling asleep.
And then he was the machine. He flexed a limb experimentally, enjoying the sensation of reasserted control as the nausea faded. His arm — his real arm — remained limp by his side, nestled snugly in its padded bindings. Instead, sensed rather than seen, a heavy fio’tak ablative armature, complete with wrist-slung fusion blaster, flexed from the massive shoulder of the suit.

El'Lusha preparing for battle, by linking up to his tau battlesuit. The Tau have their own (non warp, I suspect) neural linking technologies, although it seems as effective as anything the Imperium has (and quite possibly less prone to daemonic infestation.)

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-02-08 03:08pm

PAge 304-306
The four suits hurtled earthwards, like misfired bullets cruising along their curvaceous trajectory. Slaves at the whim of gravity. A blue light flickered twice at the corner of Lusha’s HUD, informing him that terminal velocity had been reached.
The kor’ui’s news had short-circuited his attention for too long: he’d dropped below the five hundred tor’lek limit.
Hissing in alarm, he brought the jetpack online quickly, overfeeding the anti-grav bursts to compensate for his tardiness and ignoring the chorus of protest chimes from the AI. The rest of the team grew more and more distant above him, decelerating at a far more sensible speed.
He overrode the jet dampeners with a rank command, ignoring the squeal of metallic protest as the burners kicked in and aided the anti-grav. The ground came up to meet him inexorably, altimeter blinking red in alarm.
At an altitude of two hundred tor’leks, with the city’s buildings fully formed and ugly beneath him, he was fairly certain he was going to make it. The jetpack was moaning like an infant at the exertions placed upon it, anti-grav distorting the very air in a long column of shimmering diffracted light. He strengthened the field higher still and felt a glut of blood rush to his head. His organs sat heavily inside him, crushed indelicately by the force of the deceleration. He choked back on the nausea and brought himself under control.

Crisis battlesuit orbital drop, using anti-grav and rockets to control descent.

Page 307
The neural interface was supposedly unconnected to his pain centres. It should, in theory at least, be possible to lop off his mechanical limbs, fire bullets into his chassis, electrocute or burn or maim or behead the unit, without him feeling so much as a twinge of discomfort. In theory.
In practice, a veteran user of Crisis XV8 technology often developed ho’or-ata-t’chel: sympathetic ghost-pains. Phantom reactions to external damage.
He’d seen shas’uis so traumatised by losing their sensor-cluster “heads’ they’d spent kai’rotaas in a coma. He’d seen a shas’vre who, shot in his biological leg by a lucky armour-piercing round, couldn’t understand why he was unable to walk normally when he exited the suit, since its lowest limbs were perfectly intact. He’d seen shas’vres at the end of their careers, minds addled by a lifetime of war, by tau’cyrs of bounding effortlessly across cities on thrumming jetpacks, trying to fly…

Another one of those "theory vs practice' things I suspect most Tau fans would choose to ignore. Tau technology is supposed to be grand and great and everything, but it also seems there is a dark side to it - a 'price' of sort, that they except "fort the Greater Good". This isn't the only case either. One of the odler bits of Tau related fluff (at least something possibly from the magazine which showed up in the old "Chapter Approved" stuff) had the rail rifles having some sort of neurally linked targeting system.. that fried out the brain of any fire warrior trying to use it.

Page 310-311
Ardias had served the Emperor for many, many years. He’d fought the eldar. Theirs was a discipline of intractable grace, stunningly swift, stunningly effective. Every unit had its role, its niche to fulfil, and would cling to it grimly. Their inflexibility — their inability to adapt — was their weakness.
He’d fought the tyranids. Theirs was a simple goal. There were no complexities buried beneath the lust to devour, no unpredictable tangents in behaviour behind the simple biological imperative to consume and propagate. They were adaptable, oh yes, but predictably so. There was no randomness in their behaviour and it could therefore be anticipated.
Even the orks, in their way, followed a set of rules. Theirs was a madness borne from utter dislocation with reason and rationality; they made up for their obvious intellectual shortcomings with a bloody-minded determination to surprise, to take the road less travelled. Their wanton disregard for convention, bizarrely, gave them a convention all of their own. Again, in their own unique way, they were predictable.
But Chaos…
Chaos wasn’t even madness. Chaos went beyond the wilful randomness of the orks into a realm of almost “rational irrationality”. It espoused a considered form of anarchy, an almost educated approach to uneducating. It was a thing of contradictions and adaptations, of ceaseless change and unrelenting unknowability. The greatest thing Ardias had learnt throughout his years of captaincy, that wasn’t inscribed in the scriptures of the Codex, was this: The only thing you can predict about Chaos is that you can’t predict it at all.

Ardias contemplates fighting Chaos and the difficulties therein because of its unpredictable nature.

Page 318-319
Its architecture was positively bizarre: a chapel-fortress rising up sixty storeys or more, vaulted windows and defensive emplacements pocking every square tor’lek of stone and metal. Its external complexity outdid even that of the Imperial warships which, similarly striated by obsidian buttresses and tiered alcoves, it resembled. The conventions of a sturdy, durable edifice, so typical amongst the buildings of the city beyond, were somehow forgotten in favour of a fantastical, exotic aesthetic. No wide foundations based the structure, rather a pair of vast towers flared upwards, joining in a gaggle of enormous tensile brackets and load-bearing machinery. Thus twinned, like prehistoric monoliths supporting a keystone load, the tower struts bore the remainder of the building’s bulk.
A dataload burst in his memory, didactic information implanted during his training swimming unbidden to the fore of his consciousness. He’d examined it before, this one, reading through the artificial memories like data wafers inside his head during some sleepless night in the battledome. He hadn’t fully believed it, back then.
An Imperial titan, haloed by the harsh floodlights of the gigahanger...
Such things were little more than a whisper to his race. City-sized war machines: the stuff of untaulike fancy and legend. Completely absurd, the Shas’ar’tol said, an irrational propaganda item dreamed up by some gue’la administrator to terrify those races less focused than the tau into submission.
Just make-believe.

And just when you thought things couldn't get crazier? A titan appears. 60+ storeys supposedly (180 metres? REally?) and apparently something that was dismissed as fantasy and propoganda. Considering that they faced Titans in the Damocles Gulf war (as well as later on at Taros), you really have to wonder why the "Greater Good" suppresses information on them. Then again we know the Tau have sometimes suppressed info about the humans (like hive cities, as per Kill Team.)
So yeah.. this world was building titans as well as all the other insanity. Go figure.
Page 320
In contacting him aboard the Enduring Blade, the Space Marine had altered his helmet communicator somehow, pushing aside the detector tightbeam he shared with his tau comrades and imposing some sort of unshiftable gue’la code. Since then, Kais had been unable to raise Lusha or the Or’es Tash’var, despite repeated attempts.

Again, the Imperium has modified/hacked Kais helmet so that he can communicate with the Space Marine, but the Tau can't contact Kais.

Page 321-322
The gun felt heavy in his hands, its unfamiliar balance more than made up for by its usefulness. The journey to the hangar had not been without incident.
The weapon was vaguely reminiscent of a pulse rifle: a long barrel and squat stock with little obvious room for firing mechanisms. It was almost completely smooth but for a long groove running the length of the muzzle on either side. Unlike its rifle counterpart, it was black, a glossless matt darkness that made it seem unreal — a lance of shadows obstructing the paleness of his gloves. He’d seen weapons like it before: vast things slung to the stalwart undersides of Moray-class gun-ships, or else mounted massively on the wide shoulders of Broadside battlesuits.
It was a railgun, in miniature, and he’d already used it to punch holes through Traitor Marines with as little effort as sliding a needle through fabric. Tiny gravitic accelerators running the length of the barrel hyperaccelerated a single shell to unimaginable speeds: a linear concentration of energies that negated recoil and left its target blindly clutching at itself, senses far too slow to even register the impact until it was too late.
New technology, he guessed. Experimental, maybe. A prototype infantry version of an artillery weapon, fielded by test-shas’uis as a final assessment of its abilities.

At the time of Fire Warrior the rail rifles were spposedly 'experimental'. Interesting that in this case its gravitic accelerators rather than magnetic (like some weapons.) also its reccoilless.

Page 324-325
Unfamiliar sensations rocked through the plague lord; a barrage of information and uncertainty, challenging his self-perceptions and opening conduits of thought and movement unconnected to his physicality. He could see from any one of a hundred internal cameras, each revealing the tight confines of the titan’s interior. He wondered if this was how flies felt: compound pupils flitting across myriad views at will.
He could gaze through the city machine’s eyes, hundreds upon hundreds of alternative angles and filters endowing him with complete wraparound sensory overload. He could hear what it heard, taste the air itself with electronic sensitivity, detect odours and gases and pheromones, feel its power emissions like a warm glow in his own guts-He was the titan-god.
He was the first machine child of the factories of Dolumar IV, an incarnate engine of destruction, holy vessel for the nascent machine spirit Imperio Prince-Nebulae Draconis, which moved through its logic engines with youthful exuberance, perplexed and invigorated by the presence of its first pilot.
Princeps? the machine thought, logic engine consciousness filled with slow analysis.
The god-mind surged with power and dissolved into his thoughts, tasting and melding sensually, trusting in the sincerity and morality of its pilot guide to provide its moral compass. A child, placing its trust in a doting parent.
They intertwined and ran together.
When the two thought streams detached, Siphistus’s consciousness withdrawing slowly to behold its work, the Imperio Prince-Nebulae Draconis was changed. Radically changed.

Nurgle Champion linking into and corrupting a Titan. The poor titan. Apparently a newly built titan has no personality or naything and will imprint on anything that can link with it. Kinda dangerous obviously.

PAge 338-339
The representative of Old Grandfather Nurgle to his left, supplicating to its mouldering god of pestilence and decay, was a withered shape leaning heavily on a gnarled cane, dressed in tattered robes of bilious green and brown. Its voice was thick with moisture and clotted saliva and it paused frequently to cough, splattering a viscous red-black paste across the floor. Flies orbited the lugubrious figure in an orgy of decaying stinks.
To its side, resplendent in a patchwork robe of rainbow hues and glimmering jewels, a priest of Slaanesh gestured grandly and hissed in a reed-thin voice. Worship of the hedonist god of pleasure and pain quickly aroused a sense of numbness in his followers, exposure to the vilest and most raucous of experiences deadening the senses to all but the most riotous of gratifications. Thus the Slaanesh priest dressed in a mélange of clashing hues and bright-edge patterns, dragging knives across its exposed arms every few moments in an attempt to feel, groaning in ecstasy at every dimly experienced moment of discomfort.
At the next point of the star was a bulky priest of the Blood God, Khorne. Draped in butcher’s robes of black leather and studded chains, waving a polished cleaver with every sorcerous gesticulation, the gravel-voiced figure created an impression of raging impatience, as if the very idea of spell-chanting was a tedious impediment to the far more rewarding pursuit of carnage and blood spilling. Given the semi-cleaved heads and limbs it had carefully arranged around itself, Severus guessed it was more than adept at both.
And finally, to his immediate right, a sorcerer-devotee of Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, spread-eagled its limbs and glowed with power. Besides the mirrorglass mask concealing its facial features, not one part of the figure’s form was permanent. Its fingers writhed and melted together, forming claws and blades and osmotic leech-mouths; its arms boiled with under-skin turbulence, a shifting landscape of scales and hair and suckers and spines; its legs churned with polymorphic fluidity from state to state and its voice was a transient chorus of tones: soft becoming hard, rasp becoming trill. Everything about it characterised constant unending change. As befitted Tarkh’ax’s status as a child of Tzeentch, the sorcerer-priest occupied the central apex of the star, channelling energy zealously.

Oddly in this book they are using seven pointed stars. I guess that's just crazy Chaos for you - they won't evne keep their own symbology constant. It's also kind of odd that they managed to get 4 high priest sof each Chaos God to team up and unify like this.. but its not impossible for Chaos to work together that way... maybe they just decided to team up or something.

PAge 340-341
The tau, by comparison, was an entirely disappointing subject. Around his skull the energies seemed to boil and flex, hunting impotently for some foothold of emotion or excess with which to work. Impervious to psychic persuasion, a living embodiment of focus and calm, the ethereal was proving to be a very difficult creature to corrupt. Severus rather suspected that, when he arrived, Tarkh’ax would deem the tau race unworthy of Chaos’s more insidious attentions and choose to obliterate them instead.

Ethereal proves highly resistant to corruption and general psychic manipulation. Probably something that helps explain why Tau don't get corrupted so easily despite having no gods, per se.

Page 342
This tau, this “Kais’, had singlehandedly wiped out the bridge of an Emperor-class battlecruiser.

again Enduring Blade was "Emperor-class"
By the way, the Enduring Blade not only had weapons batteries, it had lance batteries too. :D

PAge 344
Extending in a wide grid of sense clusters, radar-scanners and high-altitude surveyors, every available drone at the tau flotilla’s command had been hastily deployed. Weapons droids mingled with engineering apparatus, blocky chaff drones interspersed sparsely with maintenance constructs, top-of-the-range spy-sat cameras and barely sentient control-applicators seeming awkward and disparate in close proximity comparison. And every last one — from the most technologically advanced to the simplest of unipurpose models, from those with sensory equipment able to pinpoint a single individual in twenty different spectrums through a hundred tor’kans of atmosphere and cloud cover, to the lowliest of sightless fuel-gauge drones with barely enough scan sensitivity to penetrate the exosphere — trained the colossal might of their combined awareness upon the planetary surface and, in a closely choreographed orbital dance, spiralled their attention outwards from the city.

The Tau have deployed their entire drone stockpile for the upcoming war and ot provide as much info (to locate the Ethereal, which is still their objective) as they can.
Page 345
From the available data and scant vehicular information stored within its record matrices, 66.G postulated that it had discovered a “land speeder”, a low-tech human skimmer vehicle, and transmitted its discovery to the parent node on the Or’es Tash’var

The tau consider land speeders to be a low tech skimmer. :D

Page 347
The tight-skinned concentration of the Marine’s features, hawkish face scarred and frozen in a permanent frown of martial intensity, filled Kais with a strange sort of assurance. So little in his world now seemed reliable, but to even question this man’s metal-clad resolve was unthinkable. The human’s focus, despite being bent upon conflict and triumph rather than unity and equilibrium, was equal to any that he’d encountered in members of the tau race.
Unity and Equilibrium and Progress and Growth…
Important words. Tenets of faith.
Ardias said… Ardias said faith would sustain him. Ardias said faith was the only shield Chaos couldn’t penetrate.

A moment of revelation, in how Kais links Ardias' own fanatical devotion/focus determination (The drive of a Space Marine to do his duty, basically) with the ideal of the Greater good. Rather an irony, considering how much of the book is spent disregarding the humans as being lesser and backward creatures.

PAge 351-352
Tarkh’ax, warp preserve his malevolent name, would make obeisance to them all. His sustenance was derived from the Changer of Ways — Tzeentch — but he was a being of rare cunning and understood the importance of union. By supplicating to each of the Dark Gods he would be gifted with strengths and powers beyond the remit of his sorcerous patron, sealing his ascension and anchoring him, immovably, into the realm of mortality and material.

He's a creature of Tzeentch, but it seems that if approached in the right way, all tha chaos gods can be persuaded to bolster a daemon. As I noted, cooperation isn't beyond the Chaos Gods.
Page 357
Since they bundled him into the cavernous spaces and tortured chambers of the Blackship Lamentation of the Adepta Astra Telepathica. Sightless since his soul was melted and bonded with the being of the Most Holy Emperor, since he screamed and screamed for three days during the ceremony, since the pain broke every bone in his hands and left his eyes pooling away like melted metal.

3 days to soul bind.

Page 358
He’d been sightless since his graduation as an astropath: a psychic messenger-conduit able to span the interstellar vastness separating Imperial worlds, ships, stations and outposts. Stationed within the Oraclitus Meditarium aboard the Retribution-class battlecruiser Purgatus, no more than a comm-call from the bridge, Borik had served his Emperor-God for twenty-nine years. By astropath standards, he was ancient.

AStropath aboard the Retribution class Purgatus. Note that 29 is considered "ancinet" by astorpathic standards, reflecting that the task they perform cna unnaturally age them without the benefit of juvenat to bolster their lives.

PAge 361
But then there was something else. A smell, perhaps, or a feeling. Conducted through his tastebuds and his nasal orifice, seeping into his ears and eyes. Not like any sense at all; just a certainty that built from the core of his bones outwards into his skin that somewhere, somewhere nearby, was someone important.
He remembered feeling peace, once. He could feel it again now: the first tentative echoes of that great focus he’d known, if only he could remember when and why. He could feel the glimmerings of serenity, unnaturally imposed but embraced nonetheless. He’d felt the peace and the awe and the security before, when for a few short raik’ors he’d been in the presence of…

Kais detecting the Ethereal again. Again note how despite not being in line of sight or even remotely close, the "aura" an Ethereal gives off is tangible and detectable to a tau, and it imposes a strong influence on the Tau's mindset.

page 362
Briefly, Severus considered the possibility of some hitherto unknown psychic ability possessed by the tau, but he reassured himself with a sneer. As the minutes counted away to the moment of Tarkh’ax’s release, the governor found his control over the dark powers growing ever stronger. An aura of crackling energy, a shifting halo of smoke and shadow, had formed around him, and now he could see into the coiling realm of the warp with as much ease as opening his eyes. This xenogen morsel hanging in the air was no psyker; no warp-sighted mutant that could cry out to its comrades for help. In fact, Severus was rapidly coming to the conclusion that the ethereal was of very little value whatsoever. The possibility of tainting a high-ranking tau had been worth exploring at least, he reassured himself: that it had failed merely assured their utter annihilation. Chaos had little time for incorruptibility.

Tau are not psychic, and the Ethereal seems incorruptible. This may explain chaos' lack of interest in the Tau usually.
PAge 364
Kais’s didactic memories told him that the gue’la, innumerable populations smeared like a great plague across the galaxy, made full use of the insane and the volatile amongst them: presenting them with weapons, forming them into asylum legions and hurling them, like expendable human chaff, into the jaws of an enemy. They might die. It wouldn’t matter.
But maybe, the gue’la philosophy went, maybe one or two would prove so unhinged, so insane and unattainable, that they’d turn the tide of a war.
Using the deranged as sacrificial weapons: Kais could think of few uglier and more exploitative concepts. Except… Except hadn’t his commanders relied upon him? Hadn’t El’Lusha told him he was the only one who could do this?
Weren’t the tau just as bad?

To be fair to Lusha, he actually does quite obviously care about Kais, so I wouldn't take Kais view on such things as 100% accurate. Rather they're the corrupt influence of the daemon working on his thoughts to reach that conclusion. And the Tau use Auxilia as well. Still its an interesting reflection of how, sometimes, the Tau can be little different from the Imperium they look down on.

Page 365
The desert rushed past, every grav-leap a colossal stride into the air.

Jet pack/antigrav equipped battlesuits.

PAge 367
Kais knew little of the ways of humans — his tutors had instructed him from an early age to think of them as a galaxy-wide pestilence, only dimly sentient and far from embracing the credo of the tau’va.

Yet again we see the Tau are arrogant and condescending to other races who won't embrace the Greater Good. Much as the Imperium, the tau place high value on propoganda.

Page 369-370
Kais didn’t need any further encouragement. He opened fire with a snarl.
The shell knocked the obscenity onto its back in a fountain of bone and gore, dust and smoke hanging around it as its flesh charred
The railgun had blasted a hole straight through its midriff, a needle-eye that dangled shredded viscera upon Kais’s chest and emptied awful fluids across his armour. An aborted spinal chord dangled limply inside the wound, the beast’s legs uselessly dragging behind it.

Railgun vs daemon. Blows a sizeable hole in its body.

Page 372
Seeing no other options, he pushed his fist directly into the cavernous wound in its guts, grabbed a handful of slippery vertebrae, and pulled.
It roared. It roared and squealed and shrieked, muscles spasming and arms twitching, tortured nerves sending contradictory messages through its unnatural form. It tried rising with its enormous wings, a thick blood sludge vomiting from its maw across Kais’s optics, but couldn’t control their leathery beating. It jerked and twitched and snarled, forever howling with enough force to shudder Kais’s very brain, but he held on to the brutalised spine with all his dwindling strength, and twisted.

The daemon's body dies from having its spine yanked. This seems surprising, but we should note what is happening is that Kais is killing the host, not the daemon itself. The earlier text described it sa a daemon newly-familiar with the mateiral realm, and very unfamiliar with bodies, so it probably isnt aware of the vulnerabilities and unable to protect against them the way a more experienced daemon could.
Also the railgun blows a hoel big enough for Kais to stick his fist in.

Page 375
“Yes. Shas’el, something’s happened. Whatever was blocking Kais’s signal has vanished. We think it was a gue’la communicator, holding open a channel with the shas’la.”

Another mention of Tau comms technology being outdone by the Ipmerium.

Page 377
And Meyloch Severus, Governor-Regent of Dolumar IV, overseer of Colony 4356/E, ranking adept of the Administratum and appointed forgemaster of Mechanicus Industrium Dol.322, was pushed unceremoniously into a tiny corner of his own brain.

All of Severus' titles.. apparently this was a colony, a forge world/industrial world.. etc. *shrugs* I'm invoking the "its like Vostroya" excuse again even if it doesn't explain the Titan.
Page 378
Attempting to infiltrate Ko’vash’s mind had been like waves breaking against a cliff. It would take centuries to wear him down.

Again comment on how uttelry resistant to psychic influence and corruption a Ethereal is. This odesnt translate directly to your average tau, but I imagine with the presence of an Ethereal they can bolster spychic resistance.

Page 380
“You can’t, little tau,” the thing said, its laugh a dry rasp. “You’ve been prepared.”
“You think that little whisper in your head is yourself? Your… mm… what did you call it? Your Mont’au. Your rage. Heh heh heh…”
“I sensed you this morning, when you set down on this world. I’ve had millennia to prepare, little tau. Millennia of oozing myself into the minds of mortals. I’ve whispered and hissed into more brains than I can remember, through the years. I tasted your species this morning, like a fine wine, and found it wanting…”
“So disappointing, I thought. An incorruptible race. No psychic powers. No dark desires or secret horrors… Hmm… On that count, at least, I was wrong. You merely keep them well hidden…
“But you… alone among thousands. I could taste you! Such bitterness! Such shame!
"You cut a bloody swathe to me like a knife through the warp, but not because you could…
“Because I made you want to…
“And now you seriously think you can cast off my gift and kill me? Little tau, you have a lot to learn.”

And the truth is revealed. AS noted, Ethereals are highly resistant to the warp, but the individual tau (like poor Kais) aren't.

Page 381
“Kais,” a voice said. “Kais, look up.”
He obeyed and there, hanging suspended far above him in the air, spread-eagled and glowing with purity and peace, radiant and glorious and unified and balanced and perfect, was Aun’el T’au Ko’vash.
“Kais,” he called out, voice full of exhaustion and effort. “Even when broken, a sword may still cut.”
The Aun closed his eyes and serenity enveloped Kais like a warm cloud, filling his mind with peace and purity and the glowing features of the ethereal. Was there a taste, he wondered? A faint scent taste that rushed through his body like warm j’hal nectar, cleansing and purifying.
The ethereal smiled from on high and Kais was free. Invisible bonds fell away, the Mont’au shrivelled and died.

Which proves my earlier supposition right, I suppose. The presence of an Ethereal can bolster a Tau's mind to the point it can resist Chaos. And its more than just faith/doctrine or ideology too.. whatever that Etheral is radiating, it counters Chaos.

PAge 386
Tzeentch was a doting patron, filling Tarkh’ax with strength and vitality, but only by pleasing each of the Lord of Change’s brother-gods could it hope to regain the full strength it had enjoyed before its imprisonment. It had been an avatar of Chaos Undivided in that black time; lofty heights of malignancy and power that it would re-ascend!

Again noting that while he is mainly a minion of Tzeentch, it is possible to become a avatar/champion of all four Chaos powers. I wonder if this "daemon" was a former mortal/champion turned daemon prince, or something?

Page 395-396
“Courage and honour…” he muttered, unable even to summon the appropriate gusto for a battlecry.
It had been a long, long day.
“I should have known better,” the Space Marine growled, with perhaps the merest hint of a smile, “than to trust something like this to a xeno.” He arched a respectful eyebrow briefly at Kais and returned to pumping bolter shells into the thrashing plague corpse.
“Better late than never, human,” Kais said, weakly.

One of my favorite parts in the whole book, and proof that Ardias is one of the better ultramarines written. It just sets up the scene so neatly, and even by this poitn Ardias has lost his fire for THE ALMIGHTY CODEX. But that he can get along with a Fire Warrior is also cool.
Page 399
Shas’la T’au Kais threw back his head, choked on bitterness, opened his mouth, and screamed: “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!”

Another good line from the book. And quite probably the only time EVER you would hear a tau say this.
Page 401-402
“He died because a tyranid y’he’vre put a dent in his battlesuit and he wouldn’t fall back until he’d taken his revenge. He died because he wouldn’t listen when we told him — we all told him — it was time to withdraw! Hot-headed, Kais. He was a son-of-a-ui’t with a temper, and a poor judge of character.”

“He shot a shas’ui, once, just for questioning orders. Did you know that? He was a snae’ta, Kais. A mighty general and a powerful fighter, but a snae’ta nonetheless.”
“But… but the machine…”
That was his genius, child. He understood the machine. It’s the whole thing that matters, not the parts inside. He made his speeches, he blurted his sound bites to keep the por’hui happy. Then he went right back to being an impetuous grath’im.
“Get it into your head, Kais. The tau’va isn’t real. Nobody ever reached it.
“We’re always getting closer, always approaching, but never arriving. As long as we go in the right direction, as long as everything we do is done in the name of the Greater Good—then it doesn’t matter how far from the path you are!"

Lusha talking to Kais, explaining about Kais father and why Kais has the wrong ideas. This is why I like Lusha in this book, he's a tau who doesn't have his head up his ass. I wish tehre were more like him. It also ties up some of the themes I suspect spurrier was going for in the book rather nicely.
Also this puts more dimensions on the Tau that make them superficially super perfect doo gooders.

Page 405
“Load torpedoes,” he grunted, returning his attention to Dolumar IV. “Target the Chaos temple.”
The captain knew better than to argue. “With what?” he asked, uneasy at the Ultramarine’s presence. “A bombardment would, I assure you, collapse even the deepest—”
“Cyclonic torpedoes,” He said. “Viral bombs. In the name of Emperor and Guilliman, purge the planet.”

This I think clarifies what we see at the ending of Fire warrior.. using Cyclonics and virus weapons to Exterminatus the planet, rather than brute force firepower. So whatever those shots we saw are, they aren't conventional weaponry. The lance.. probably ignites whatever struck the planet. It's not the first time such has bhappened (Galaxy in Flames, for example.)

Paeg 406
“By the path…” Y’hol hissed, tottering back on his replacement bionic leg in shock.

Tau have bionic/augmetic limbs too.

Page 407
“How did he come to this?” Ju whispered, more to herself than anyone else.
Lusha chewed his lip, searching for words. “By going too far into a place that no tau should ever venture.”
“You mean that… that ‘pit’? The por’hui won’t give any details.”
Lusha laughed bitterly and tapped at his head.
“No, Ui’Y’hol. I mean into here. We all have darkness inside us. We hide it away and pretend it’s not there, but it is. And the only way to stay clear of it is the way of the tau’va. But even the One Path won’t light up every shadow. Kais went too far into the darkness.”

Another reason I like Lusha. There was more to his little speech but I didnt want to ruin it for anyone who would read it completely. It also provides one of the better endings in 40K, especially for a tau-centric novel.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-02-17 06:41pm

So now I've decided I'll cover Jonathan green's three full 40K novels. He's not a bad writer for a Space Marine writer, not a great one, but not bad. Lots of interesting technical stuff is about all you can say. And Brother Jarrold. Green introduces one of the best and coolest Dreadnoughts I've ever seen, and it stems largely from his interactions with other people. You'll see in the first one (Dreadnought fighting alongside STeel Legion.)

It'll be four parts, but two parts per update.. I want to blow through them and finish this one u pand move onto other stuff much like with the blood Angels junk.

Part 1

Page 14
The towering, crenellated walls of the great grey stone keep looked like they had stood for thousands of years, as indeed they had.


Walls a hundred metres high rose from foundations where they were sunk so deep within the craggy plateau of the hilltop that they appeared to grow up out of the bedrock of the planet itself.

Additional heavy gun emplacements were embedded within the lower slopes of the twenty-metre-thick walls.

Huge doors, tall enough and wide enough to allow even the Imperator-class land-battleship colossi of the Adeptus Mechanicus comfortable entry, stood solidly closed.


In front of the doors, and bridging the crevasse before the wind-scoured cliffs to which the ancient fortress clung, was a drawbridge wide enough, for six Conqueror tanks to comfortably advance across. Chains with links the size of Land Speeders rose up from their moorings on
the drawbridge to the towers of the gatehouse eighty metres up.

Black Templars fortress outpost. Big and impressive pretty much sums it up. Implies Titans are wide enough as 6 conqueorr tanks (25-30 m wide maybe if it sthe Russ Conqueror) and about 80 m tall, which sets some definite constraints on most typical Titan sizes by this source.

Page 14
It was said, by those who knew of such things, that it would take an army of titans a month to break the stronghold open and level it, and such a thing would never happen, by the will of the Emperor!

An indicator, perhaps, of the level of firepower needed to demolish said Fortress.

Page 15
And yet, the keep was just one of the Black Templars' many Chapter strongholds, located on hundreds of planets. There was one for every world conquered or reclaimed for the Imperium by the Emperor's most devoted, heretic-persecuting warriors of the Adeptus Astartes, and
they were each staging posts for the crusading fleets of the Chapter.

One of "hundreds" of such keeps. Note that IIRC the Index Astartes fluff this is just the number that exist - the number they garrison keep up is variable.

Page 16
Solemnus was a p-class world, its populace sustained by sheep-farming, forestry, the raising of livestock, basic mining and quarrying. The government was perpetrated by feudal lords and petty kings, but the true overlords of Solemnus were the Emperor's holy warriors of the Black Templars Chapter. For what Solemnus offered the rest of the Imperium was the strength of faith of several million hardy souls and neophyte recruits for the hallowed Astartes brotherhood.

One such batch of potential new recruits was even now advancing towards the great gates of the fortress-keep. There were ten young men, all on the verge of adulthood, aged between sixteen and eighteen standard years, and all strong of build. Growing to adulthood on a feudal world
such as Solemnus in itself made them suitable to be considered for initiation into the Chapter. And so they were to begin the process that might one day lead to them being transformed into a neophyte Space Marine.

Solemnus, a farming world that seems rather low tech and is a recuriting grounds for the Black Templars (one of several hundred, which makes TREMENDOUS sense.)

Page 16
From right across the continent they came, all of them having already bested ten, twenty, or a hundred rivals in the tournaments held, throughout the medieval towns and villages of Solemnus in three-yearly cycles. They competed in the hope that one of the servants of the
holy brothers of the great keep might be present at their contest and summon the winner to accompany him to the fortress-monastery, to begin his training so that one day he might become one of the Emperor's elite warriors.

Like most chapters, the prelude to being picked involves proving that you're the best of your town/village.

Page 17
The imposing figure leading them was a good two heads taller than any of them, a towering two metre giant clad in mighty, cumbersome armour of ancient design.

2 metre "giant" two heads (about 30-40 cm) taller than anyone else. This suggests the average height on the world is 1.6-1.7 m. Were it lcoser to 2.5 m the implications would be different :P

Still, 5' 7" is not exactly "short" either.

Page 19
The Space Marine offered his own prayer of praise to the Emperor and the primarch under his breath. He felt the thrum of the throbbing void shield generators buried beneath the rock of
the crag-top on which the fortress sat.


The keep maintained a population larger than many of the feudal towns of Solemnus. A hundred battle-brothers currently served here. Between crusades, when the fleet returned to the planet, that number could quadruple. Then there were the serfs, adepts and many other minions who saw to the needs of the Templars and the monstrous fortress itself. A cohort of cooks, an army of cleaners, technicians, guards, scribes, engineers, ratings, as well as their families, and that was without mentioning the battalion of mindless servitors that also maintained
the keep's many systems

This currently held keep holds about a company (although apparently can hold up to 4 companies, suggesting that a "Crusade" is typically 3 or so companies, although the other fluff has suggested that crusades range in size from one company to several.) Also included is the non-Astartes contingent, which is impliesd to be many hundreds if not thousands (or more). Including a sizable numbers of servitors.

Also suggestive is that this fortress has void shields. I wonder if that contributes to its resilience against Titans.

Page 19
Within the keep the neophytes would undergo all manner of military training and esoteric surgical procedures, as well as religious instruction. They would be given tuition in the art of warfare, strategy and tactical thinking and learn a thousand and one ways to smite the enemies of the
Emperor. They would spend hours in prayer and be subjected to psycho-conditioning. They would be taught, via the ancient cogitator engines of the chapter keep, the glorious history of the Black Templars and learn of the magnificent Imperium of Mankind, in all its splendour, that
existed beyond the tiny, backwater world of Solemnus. They would also learn of the myriad enemies that threatened its stability, that worried at its borders and that lurked within a million star systems.

Space Marine training/indoctrination. Also implied is that the Imperium holds "a million star systems" which isnt quite the same thing as a million planets.

Page 19-21
He could hear the distant, echoing chants of the Templar choirs, marking the midday worship.
"Earlier today we detected the signature of vessels coming out of warp and heading in system. We can only hope that it is the fleet returning and not... something else." he added darkly.

mid day and "earlier today" they detected ships coming out of the warp.

Page 21-22
"The fleet that we detected this morning, my lord-"


"W-well that's just it, my lord Castellan. I-it isn't Marshal Brant's fleet."

"Y-you remember that we have been unable to raise a hail from any craft since they entered the system?"
"Yes, of course. I ordered the whole keep to be put on alert."

"Well our astropaths have been unable to make contact all day. Two have burnt themselves out attempting to do so." the adept went on nervously. "Before he died Astropath Blythe declared that he could hear savage alien voices. Now that the fleet is within range of our augur satellites
orbiting the sixth planet, we have been able to determine why."

"And the reason is?"
"They are the vessels of alien abominations, my lord."
The terrified novices looked at each askance.
"Orks, my lord."

Implies it took half a day (and certainly no more than a day) to arrive from the edge of the system to close to the planet, given that below they specify the Orks are no more than a couple hours away. "half a day" could mean 6 hours (half the day time) or 12 hours (half the 24 hour period) depending on context, but for an Order of Magnitude calc its not too bad. This would range from 10 gee sustained accel for a full day to 125 gees for a ~6 hour transit, assuming 1 AU distance. If the distance is greater, of course, the acceleration can go up :P

Page 22
"How long until they are in orbit?" Hagan demanded of the adept.

There was a brief pause, the servant tilting his cowled head to one side, as if listening to someone the Castellan could not see or hear. Then he answered, his face drained of all colour: "Three hours."

"Power up the void shields!" Castellan Hagan ordered, the adept scurrying to keep up with the Space Marine's great strides.

"Already done, my lord."

"Our orbital defence platforms, what of them?" Hagan demanded.

"W-we have lost contact, m-my lord."

"Then we must expect the worst. Prepare for orbital bombardment and full planetary assault!"
Almost exactly three hours later, Castellan Hagan's words were proved horribly prophetic.

Earlier they mention that the Ork fleet has made range of the augur satellites. Given the implied fact they just entered detection range (and assuming nothing odd about the orks fucked up the detection - which is possible) and the fact the satellites are around the sixth planet (and not in orbit of this planet - else they probably would just say "in orbit" ) the Orks have yet to get close to the planet, and some millions/tens of millions of km separates the two - we're probably looking at at least 10-20 gees, if not several times that value.

The one contrary aspect however is that of the defence platforms. We dont know where those are (except they obviously aren't in detection range of the planet for some reason) and they were engaged by the Orks.

I should note that these acceleration calcs are very approximate - in that they are probably accurate to within an Order of magnitude - there's a bit of messiness involved do to some unknonwns (how many planets in the system, which number the habitable planet is, etc.) that fudges this up some, but not dramatically so, I think. I figure at least one of the two examples, if not both, would be valid. It's not impossible, though that both could be wrong :)

Page 23
A beam of energy a metre wide streaked down through the atmosphere of the planet, burning its way through the dense cloud cover.

Cumulonimbus evaporated under the heat blast as the beam cooked the very air around it.
The laser blast struck the dome of energy shield encasing the ancient stronghold. An aurora of luminous electrical colour blazed in the air several metres above the castle's ramparts and then rippled away across the crackling shield as the beam's energy dissipated.

Void shield extends "several metres" above the ramparts.. having slightly more than 100 metre or so radius, implied.

Page 23-24
More beams of burning light hammered the stronghold and blasted great scorch holes in the plateau of the hilltop, sending a rain of smouldering peat and splinters of rock high into the air. Percussive waves of sound shook the craggy landscape and sent scree skittering away
down the slopes of the uplands.

The energy shield continued to absorb the laser impacts centred on the Templar's fortification, producing a dazzling show of spectrum-refracted illumination that under-lit the darkly glowering clouds untouched by the beams of intensely-focused light.

The shield generators hadn't been fired up in five centuries, other than for regular religious trial power-ups and tests. But a small army of tech-adepts and servitors had tirelessly maintained them – blessing them with sacred oily unguents and calling on the Machine God to keep
them working within specified parameters. It had been done for such an emergency as this, when they would be needed to defend the battlebrothers' bastion.

Within seconds, the chapter keep's own weapon batteries had begun to return fire. Gun crews tried to pinpoint the location of the ships in orbit, through the dazzling flashes illuminating the fortress every second, and the steam rising from the boiling moorland. The crews traced
the trajectories of the laser blasts.

Earthshaker cannon and Hydra emplacements launched their own assault on the fractured heavens, spitting shells into the sky, as their human operators prayed to the Emperor to guide their aim, hoping to catch any alien landing craft that might attempt to run the gauntlet. Long-range laser batteries and underground missile silos targeted the orbiting alien aggressors before returning fire or sending their deadly payloads heavenward.

The orbital assault on the fortress continued unabated, with horrendous shelling joining the laser bombardment. Missiles painted with snarling faces and grinning shark mouths rocketed towards the battlements of the keep, powered by smoking fossil fuel engines.

The cruel might of the orks' bombardment was comparable to the devastating firepower of the kilometres-long space-faring battleships of the Imperial Navy. It could even match the weapon batteries of the Black Templar Chapter's own mighty battle barges. The energy required to
power such a bombardment was truly awesome, equivalent to the power unleashed by a thousand atomic detonations.

And what made it seem all the more terrible to the keep's defenders was that it could come not from the fusillade of an Imperial vessel, but from something constructed by the barbaric greenskins. Flickering cascades of blue-white light, sheeting across the energy dome, signalled that the shield was beginning to fail. In places it cut out all together. Half the colossal drawbridge disappeared into the crevasse below. A turret of the gatehouse blew out in a shower of shattered statues and masonry. Comm-masts melted. A buttress collapsed. A rampart crumbled.

The orbital bombardment suddenly ceased.

The Orks bombard the shielded Chapter fortress. The main telling point is that the firepower is compared to a battleship and "a thousand atomic detonations" - whatever yield someone wants to ascribe to that - it coulr ange from kiloton/sub kiloton (for something like fat boy or a Davy Crockett, I suppose) or some of the known 40K "nucleaR" muntiions (which can range from the ASsassin class mines to possibly even the Hellifre missiles from Space hulk if you want to get extreme.). The one interesting thing about this is how it echoes Space Fleet's old "plasma reactions 1000x stronge rthan conventional nuclear reactions" bits in terms of fuel and explosions.

And whilst some could correctly point out that the effects on the enviroment are a constraint, that isn't without problems either by the simple virtue of a void shield being involved (which as we know now dumps energy absorbed into the warp, which is rather convenient in cases like this) we dont know the number of shots being dumped on the target and what percentages hit and what miss - it could quite literally be these are all sub gigaton (or even sub megaton shots) but there are so many thousands bombarding the target that only a fraction miss and the rest are sucked up by the voids. To be fair we can't even properly quantify the effect on the enviroment (except to say that the surroundings aren't creating hours long fireballs, the atmosphere isn't significantly heated, the surrounding area turned molten and there's no obvious mass exintction event going on, but again the voids complicate that.) Considering much of the bombardment is laser based, we dont know what kind of damage it is inflicting (is it melting, vaporizing? Are they continuous wave, or pulsed? That can all dramatically influence these things. And Orks are known for massively upgunning their vessels and the volume of fire they put out. On the other hand, Orks are notoriously bad shots so many of the rounds COULD be missing. :)

In short it probably is about as useful a quote for calcing as "destroying a city" without better context, but it certainly can imply either very impressive or very weak firepower.

The other interesting note is the Earthshakers and Hydras targeting "enemy landing craft" even though none are even described as approaching the surface, which implies a range of tens if not hundreds of kilometers :P

An alterante interpretation is that the super bombardment is from one single vessel (probably Super Rok we see arrive below.)

Page 25
Descending from the sky, like a mountain torn free of its roots, it turned day to night, blotting out the weak sunlight, and eclipsing everything in its vast shadow. The tortured air around it became oppressively heavy and charged as if in an ion storm. Its six million cubic tonne mass descended almost gracefully, buoyed up and supported by modified tractor beams and force fields. Static crackled from the rok to the ground, discharging energy, and turning mud and stone to shiny obsidian black.

Many of the keep's weapons trained on this new target, the blossoming explosions of their heavy autocannon and siege mortar shell impacts illuminating the bristling fortifications and armaments of the floating asteroid fortress. The massive mountainous ork stronghold shrugged off everything the keep threw at it as it made groundfall. The ground buckled beneath the rok. Rock melted smooth and then set hard again under the crashing down-pressure of the bow-wave of its
force field cocoon. Countless mooring anchors and iron cable hawsers were launched from crater ports within the asteroid's raggedly mountainous sides in a hail of harpoon fire. Spiked anchor heads split the bedrock, securing the ork fortress to the broken plateau. Hydraulic
ramps and great cargo-shutters opened and lowered, disgorging a veritable green tide of ravening, blood-hungry orks. As the chapter keep's batteries continued their assault on the impossible, near invincible asteroid, the rok's own massive weapon arrays came to bear on the ancient sanctuary-fortress.

With an alien roar that drowned out all other noise, the rok fired. The shield-dome held twelve seconds longer, the ancient generators buried deep beneath the fortress going critical thirty seconds after the collapse of the void shields. The explosion melted the bedrock and ignited the arsenals of three siege guns in the west wall fortifications. A half-kilometre stretch of curtain wall blew out in an eruption of masonry shards the size of tanks as the green, zigzagging fire of lasers, bursts of blue-hot plasma and artillery shells as big as a man tore through the stronghold's central fortifications leaving shattered holes and molten, orange-red rock in their wake.

Ork rok descends onto the planet, Implied to be six million "cubic tonnes" - which may either be an erronoeously phrased mass or it may be referencing ton as a unit of volume (displacement) or about 6 million cubic metres (although even then its not quite accurate since it would be cubic cubic meteres, but we might infer the "cubic" to be showing what kinds of tonnes meant.) The mass might not be much sidfferent though to be honest, depending on the percentage of empty space of the Rok. If it's significant (like 95% empty) the ship could actually mass less (like under a million tonnes.) Note that the Rok is mentioned to be "supported" and "cocooned" by both tractor beams and forcefields (likely slowint its descent and shielding it from friction, possibly also holding it together against the impact.) We can't really calc the impact either, since we dont know the speeds and diameters involved.

The rok then proceeds to bombard the failing keep's sheilds, bring them down, and further demolish the keep. The magnitude of firepower involved to do this I'll leave up to others to nitpick over and whether it is pathetic or not :lol: But do Note the "man sized" artillery shells :)

Page 26
The fleet had returned from their pilgrimage to the Apollo Sub sector only to find an armada of ugly orkish ships in geo-synchronous orbit over the chapter keep of Solemnus and, more precisely, the ancient monastery-fortress of Brant's forebears. The blunt-nosed, rusting-debris
vessels' were carrying out a devastating orbital bombardment.

If it were a natural geosynch orbit rathe than an artificially maintained one at a lower orbit (via antigrav) this implies a range more on the order of tens of thousands of kilometres. It would also be unusually precise for Orks especially at this distance. Of course Orks making heavy use of laser weaponry over projectiles isn't normal either (although they do have Zappa guns) so this may be an unuusal case all around.

Imperial guns would have been returning fire at this range as well (well not the Earthshakers or Hydra autocannon - at least I hope not) which would also be atypical. Not impossible and not the only case we've had of this (EG Ghostmaker being one) but certainly not typical.

Page 26
Brant's fleet of battle barges and strike cruisers had delivered the wrath of their Chapter upon the enemy, smiting the orks with weapons of mass destruction dedicated to the Emperor's cause.

They had broken the enemy armada in only a matter of hours, pounding the ugly, snarling
terror ships with bombardments from their laser lances, and smashing the cordon of ill-kempt ships apart.

"hours" long battle. Also the Black Templar fleet has lance weaponry.

Page 26
As the ork fleet broke orbit under this storm of vengeful wrath an abominable battle fortress like nothing Brant had ever seen rose through the atmosphere of the planet. So huge an object was it that debris from the space battle was drawn to its gravity well. It appeared to all intents and
purposes to be an asteroid, but one fitted out with all manner of crude yet savage weaponry, and it resisted all the fleet's attempts to destroy it.

The Black Templars were forced to disengage when the starfield-obscuring form of an ork hulk drifted out from behind Solemnus's single small satellite moon.

Our aformentioned battle fortress is implied to be "huge" - given the typical Rok sizes seen elsewhere, and the stated mass/volume estimate here.. this is.. interesting, to say the least. :)

Our Super Rok is virtually invulnerable to the entire Crusade Fleet's weaponry.
The other interesting thing is that the Rok would actually be warp capable which is yet another aberrant thing about these Orks.

Page 27
The bastion could have withstood a besieging army for months, but under the apocalyptic bombardment of the asteroid-fortress – the likes of which he had never seen before – it had fallen in under a day. How could such a tragedy have occurred?

This would imply that the Rok diverted a fairly substantial amount of firepower upon th efortress. Although again, where void shields are concerned its not an absolute :)

Page 33
"Imperial spies were able to infiltrate the hulk designated Krom Kruach – the same vessel that carried the greenskins to Solemnus – and before their position was compromised, they were able to discover the identity of the tribe's warlord; the evil beast ultimately responsible for the
attack on our chapter keep."

Presumably those spies were infiltrating the slave populations use to build and help maintain equipment. They're certianly not going to imitate an Ork.

Page 34
Ansgar walked the corridors of the five-kilometre long battle barge flagship of the Solemnus Crusade.

5 km "battle barge". Not exactly huge by battle barge/battleship standards - indeed given how Rogue TRader RPG material goes this isn't much more than a cruiser - but it may be forgivable in the sense that the Black Templars are a large and massive fleet

I woudl also point otu that, context wise, this may suggest that the "bombardment" described above would be interepted as being rather smallish battleships/battle barges ;)

Page 34
And still others would sleep, even though the catalepsean node implanted inside each Marine's brain allowed them to go without natural sleep for days at a time. But, of course, they could
sleep, should they so wish and should their current situation allow it. The hypno-chant meditation of Blessed Rest, taught by the chaplains of the order, granted them natural sleep from which a Marine would awake at a moment's notice feeling fully refreshed, with vigour renewed,
and ready to take on whatever mission the Emperor and the primarch deemed necessary.

In addition to the benefits of the catalepsean node, each Black Templar (if not other Marines) is hypno-conditioned to instantlly fall asleep and capable of instant recovery.

Page 35
The chamber measured a mere three metres by two but in that space there was a pallet bed, a place for Ansgar to perform his ablutions, an
alcoved altar and a prayer table. Were it not for the porthole opening onto the vessel-clogged starfield backdrop of the Armageddon system and the recessed alcove that contained his anointed power armour and arsenal of holy ordnance, the cell might have been that of any monastic brother or missionary hermit on a thousand medieval worlds.

As he entered, glow-globes sunk into the ceiling glowed into luminescence, sensors detecting his presence. The cell door closed behind him with an asthmatic hiss. Ansgar's first action was to lay his scripture-inscribed boltgun on the altar. He then placed the helmet he had been carrying under one arm next to it. Picking up a taper-shaped chrome igniter, he lit the two stout candles that stood on the altar in their pewter holders, either side of an enamel-painted triptych that rested there also. The glow-globes dimmed in response to the secondary illuminations.

The Space Marine raised a chain, that hung about his neck, with one meaty hand and kissed the black metal Templar cross at its centre. It was almost an automatic, almost preprogrammed, genuflection. Then, before kneeling down in front of the small votive altar to the primarch,
Ansgar bowed his head, the candlelight lending his close-cropped blond hair a halo-like quality, momentarily surrounding his head with a nimbus of yellow light.

Having made obeisance to the holy images, he fixed his eyes on the triptych, held within its own, small custom stasis field. His heightened senses picked up the barely audible hum of the stasis generator, buried within the polished granite surface of the altar, and tasted the tang of
ozone crackling in the dry, recycled air of the ship.

Future-Champion Angsar's cubicle. Of note are the sensor-operated lights, the porthole in the hull, and the stasis-generator protected triptych.

Page 37
A second crashing roar broke overhead, shaking the fortress to its bedrock foundations. A hot lance of emerald laser energy obliterated a stained glass window, flying glass vaporising under the intense sun-heat of the beam, and pulverised a great stone pulpit. The laser blast earthed in the centre of the pillared hall, melting the flagstoned floor to liquid magma in a fire flash. The Shockwave split the window's dressed stone surround, and fractured one of the many carved marble panels bearing the names of those who had given their lives in crusades mustered from that very Chapter keep.
The darkening purple sky went black. Something monolithic, something terrible began to descend. The size of an iceberg, sprouting weapons like a cactus sprouted needles, the pressure wave of the rok flattened everything before it.

A vision/memory of the Ork Rok attack on Solemnus as I recall. I don't remember precisley which, but it suggests that the laser strikes were mostly thermal in nature, which mitigate some of the issues regarding firepower (blast effects from explosions or pulsed lasers being far more effective at damage than pure melting.)

Page 39
Thanks to the enhancements of his helmet visor-scope and his own biological augmentations, Ansgar could see the encroaching tide of thrashing, clawed bodies, casting their shadow over the lush landscape, the savannah turning black under their advance of thousands

Angsar's visual capabilities come both from the space Marine enhancements and his gear.

Page 41-42
He was standing inside a heat-fused crater of atomic devastation. Amorphous shapes that once had form had lost all identity at the vaporising heart of an apocalyptic explosion. The surrounding curtain wall, a kilometre away, was breached in many places, the defensive perimeter's missing segments giving it the appearance of overlarge crenellated battlements. The liquefied and then reset shell that could once have been an Imperial firebase was now nothing more than a sand-blown ruin, waiting to be claimed by the hostile environment of the ash wastes that stretched out beyond it as far as the Space Marine's visor magnoculars facility could scan.

Ansgar trudged through the drifts of ash-sand that had collected in the crater, through the blunted teeth of the shattered shield wall and out into the man-made wastes. A structure rose up before him, half-buried, as if half-consumed, by the hungry desert. No, not a structure; an idol maybe; a fallen giant. It was lying on its side, but it was still the tallest thing for leagues around, a crumpled hill of broken metal.

This was unmistakably the wreckage of one of the colossal walking war machines of the titan legions. A land-battleship designated as a Warhound Titan. Servo-joints seized, grease hardened to a flaking black crust, its adamantium hide scoured clean of all painted markings.
The wolf-titan's weapons of mass destruction were now nothing more than scrap metal and decomposing fuel cells. Slicks of befouled oil and plasma-core leakage had pooled in a lake around the dead giant and then solidified in the baking chemical desert environment, ripples
captured for all time in the frozen, multi-hued crystalline deposits.

Oh dear. Both good and bad things. Where to begin.

The Good: an "atomic detonation" crater - hard to actually calc it, although the crater seems to be at least a kilometer or two wide, and involves significant melting of the surroundings. Also we have a Warhound Titan that survived mostly intact from the explosion, although clearly disabled in some manner.

The bad: "plasma core leakage" - more liquid plasma.. actually solidifying into somethign implied to be crystalline (although that might be the oil.) I give up.

This was, as I recall more of Angsar's vision, althoguh the events it leads to we find are largely authentic enough.

Page 43
The breakneck pace suddenly slowed and he found himself standing at the edge of a featureless plain of glass that stretched for kilometer after kilometre in all directions. The smog-banks that dirtied the azure sky above were reflected in its shimmering surface.

The pause was only momentary and he was away again, passing over the vitrified desert. At last the blurs of speed resolved into rocky outcrops and a rift-edged valley. And there, rising from the broad valley floor before him was a vast crater. Several kilometres in diameter, its mountainous sides were steep and ridged with jagged projections.

Set into the side of the crater were towering double doors of riveted iron, a hundred metres tall. Ansgar could see quite clearly that the towers had once borne the malevolent cyber-skull symbol of the Adeptus Mechanicus but this had been defaced. Its scarred surface was now adorned
with an even more malevolent ork glyph.

Yet another crater and fused surface. Wehther it has anything to do with above, we dont know. IT's an AdMech facility now though, captured by Orks. YEt more of the vision.

I'll note that this does tend to lend credence to the idea that the Emperor's Champion is actually some Emperor-blessed entity. Although it's also quite possible that Angsar is basically an untrained Librarian in denial. It's hard to say either way, given that Sisters of Battle can manifest psychic like abilities through faith, so why not Space Marines?

Page 43
Ansgar's genetically enhanced physique meant that in his power armour he stood almost two and a half metres tall. Yet despite this, the ork he was facing now still loomed over him, its own crudely customised battle suit making it as broad as it was tall. It was a virtually unstoppable
killing machine.

Ork was taller than a 2.5 metre Astartes in armour.

Page 46-47
At his command, a thousand tonnes of steel surged forward through the ash dunes, obliterating crumbling rains from the Second War for Armageddon beneath splayed, metal feet with a footprint big enough to crash a city block.

At his command batteries of arcane augur devices assessed the titan's immediate surroundings. Surveyor-slaved cogitators built up a threedimensional map of the terrain from radar scans, the returns of echo-locators, spectrographic readings and electromagnetic signatures. Using
the fractal contour landscape constructed within the machine-mind of the titan, yet more sensor units, linked to the esoteric workings of ancient weapon systems, targeted the jerry-built ork dreadnoughts, as the tiny war machines brought an astonishing array of weaponry to bear
against the striding titan-beast. Clattering autocannons, crudely-rigged energy weapons and rocket launchers all fired on the skyscraper-tall war machine, and had about as much effect against the titan as mosquitoes would against the alien greenskins' own tough, stinking hides.

An arsenal equivalent to the firepower of an entire Imperial Guard regiment, which would have reaped a bloody harvest amidst an infantry assault, barely even scratched the surface of the mighty Warlord engine: energy blasts scorched tiny tracks across the metres-thick
adamantium armoured plates. Rockets imparted harmlessly against the powering legs in tiny blossoms of orange fire.

A Warlord class Titan. Implied to mass at least a thousand tonnes (although made of "steel" of some kind). I wouldn't read to much into "crushing a city block" though. The sensor stuff is interesting, as is the "firepower equivalent to an entire Imperial Guard reigment" which is hard to rationalize - does it mean equal to thousaands of men and their various special and heavy weapons, or doe sit refer to say, tanks and artilley?

Page 47
At Ekhardt's command, a weapon the length of an Imperial Lightning strike craft of the Emperor's glorious Navy came to bear on the scuttling war machines and the myriad miniscule orks scurrying away before the titan's earthshaking steps. A subsonic boom that produced a
concussion wave powerful enough to flatten troops and even buckle tank armour, accompanied the firing of the titan's massive Volcano Cannon. A lance of explosive laser energy cut through the fleeing alien pack, vaporizing orks and machines in its beam.

Warlord's Volcano cannon. Vaporizes multiple Orks and Ork Machines (single tonnes at least if not multiple tens or even hundreds of tons. Easily double if not triple digit GJ, assuming iron.)

Page 48
Ekhardt had fought against the greenskin menace on many occasions on many worlds in many war zones, and in that time he had noticed that this particular alien race appeared to have a liking for painting their attack vehicles red. The old princeps could well imagine that the orks did
this in the ridiculous belief that it made their war-trucks and bikes go faster! The orks, and their way of thinking, if it could be called that, were totally alien to him.

Except it works.

Page 48
For so many hulks, kroozers and attack craft to breach the cordon of Armageddon's orbiting, space-borne defences – including the orks' deadly asteroid fortresses, with their terrible, city-levelling payloads – even after they had been so bolstered in the half-century since the Second War for Armageddon, there had to be some unifying, strategic element to their attack.

"city levelling payloads." Again I'll leave that to others to read into.

Page 49
In the decades since his last attack, Ghazghkull's forces – that included, estimates stated, tribes numbering over a billion orks – had continued to challenge the Imperium's defences. The destruction wreaked on dozens of systems and scores of worlds, monitoring stations and naval
facilities attested to that.

At least a billion Orks involved in the Armageddon war, and dozens of systems/scores of worlds stations and facilities demolished.

Page 50
When consultations of the Emperor's tarot showed nothing but bloodshed and destruction rmageddon prepared for war once again, titan legions, Imperial Guard regiments, Space Marine Chapters, the Planetary Defence Force and hive-born militia were mustered, dug in or
dispersed, as merchant vessels ran the gauntlet of ork ships moving into the Armageddon system.

Mention of PDF ad hive militia as separate factions.

Page 50
Six weeks after entering the Armageddon system, the vast armada of hulks, roks and ships that made up the forces of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka engaged space stations and orbital weapons platforms. Three days later the orks made planetfall, the filthy contrails of their landing
pods smudging the azure sky over Hades Hive. The scene of the most almighty battle in the previous war, Hades was the first to fall, smashed asunder by giant asteroids dropped from the space hulks in orbit over the doomed planet.

6 weeks to arrive over the planet, and 3 days to make landing. Not exactly speedy progress, although to be fair they were probably fought every step of the way.

Page 51
No matter where they landed, whether it was in the burning Fire Wastes north of the main continent of Armageddon or to the south in the frozen Dead Lands, the orks' alien metabolisms seemed able to cope with any climate and environment, no matter how harsh. It was almost as
if they had been engineered in some way, for just such a purpose. But which alien race could have achieved such a feat of biomechanics and genetic manipulation he had no idea. Such things were now almost beyond the Emperor's own Magos Biologis Genetors of the Adeptus

Ork adaptability to the extreme (and I mean extreme) climates of Armageddon. The interesting thing is both the awe at the Ork's own of "bio-engineering" alongside the simutaneous implicaton that the AdMech could still match it, even if it was rare, high level feats.

Page 51
As things stood now, the tribes that combined to make up the Great Beast's forces held, or had destroyed, three of Armageddon's eight mighty hive-cities – Tempestora, Acheron and Hades – and were besieging hives Volcanus and Infernus. Hive Helsreach was still contested and
Death Mire was readying itself for an assault by feral orks massing from the planet's vast swathes of equatorial jungle. The orks also controlled many of the ore mines situated within the northern Fire Wastes and held sway over not only the frozen Dead Lands but also the
Netheria Peninsula, starving the Imperial forces of desperately needed resources; not just fuel but also clean, fresh water.

The Status of Ork control on Armageddon at the time of this novel. Probably either prior to ghazzie driven off, or representing the mopping up after.

Page 52
At the heart of the advancing horde had been the biggest ork tank Ekhardt had ever seen. The battle fortress had been like an entire outpost on the move, rumbling over the desert sands on grinding tracks, crushing all before it. He had no idea where such a thing had come from. Had it been birthed from one of the Great Beast's rok fortresses? Had it been teleported directly to the planet's surface from a hulk-factory in orbit over Armageddon? Or had it been created in some ground-based construction plant that the Imperial commanders were as yet unaware of? But wherever it had come from, the two Warlords had put an end to it.

Mention of Ork teleporters capable of moving battle forts (not surprising since IIRC they teleported Gargants) and implied orbital factory ships the Orks employ.

Page 52
However, the great war-beast was steadily leaking plasma energy from the severed power arteries and it was taking some of the godmachine's old systems microseconds longer to react to the princeps's thought-commands.

"microseconds- longer reaction times, although how many is up for debate - it still has singnificant implications. Also the "leaking plasma energy"... more super soaker plasma shit.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: 40K Old Tyme Novels analysis thread: Necromunda, EoT, Po

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-02-17 06:44pm

Part 2 of Crusade for Armageddon

Page 53
They could be found on board every starship, every space station and every war machine of the Adeptus Mechanicus. And the machine priests were a vital part of Tyrannus Maximus's crew, ministering to its many ancient systems: the colossus's plasma reactor, the great turbine
engines – coaxing a little more motive power here, re-calibrating a scanner-auspex there – with prayers, smoking incense and the application of sacred lubricating unguents, ministering to myriad weapons batteries. The devastating, infantry-scything Gatling Blaster, with its 150mm
explosive shells fired from silo-sized autoloader hoppers at a truly terrifying rate. The city-levelling Volcano Cannon, which harnessed a power akin to the boiling fury of an exploding mountain was put at the disposal of the titan's princeps – the one human soul linked directly to
the machine-mind of the titan. Without the princeps, the god-engine would be nothing more than a forty-metre tall effigy bearing an arsenal to rival a dozen tank companies.

150mm Gatling blaster. ASsuming each shell had the explosive payload of a 6 inch howitzer shell or thereabouts we might be talking about the equivalent of hundreds of kilos of TNT each second (assuming a 600-750 RPM rate of fire)

Also: "city levelling" Volcano cannon (remember that this is just ONE weapon on the Titan, and Titans orders of magnitude less powerful than een small starships.) which is also described as harnessing the power of an "exploding mountain" (how much of the mountain expldoes I'll leave up to debate again although it definitely implies nuclear yields.) And firepower to "rival a dozen tank companies" - which given at least a dozne if not several dozen tanks, implies equivalent firepower to hundreds of tanks easily.

Also the Warlord is 40 metre tall and has a "turbine engine".

Page 54
After psychic probing by the medicae, Ekhardt – hardened to the horrors of war, and all it might confront a commander with, after over a century and a half of conflict – had been allowed to resume active service, along with the rest of his command crew and the newly-promoted
Dvorad. Even the ancient titan had been rededicated to the great Omnissiah, every system, down to the last component, purified and resanctified in a month-long rite of reconsecration, carried out by a small army of tech-priests.

But during that month's enforced bed rest at the medicae facility of Curare – or quarantine as Qwerts, his then tactical officer, had put it – separated from the titan, disconnected from the link, Ekhardt had begun to feel the pain and suffer the symptoms of withdrawal worse than he
could have ever imagined. He and the god machine were one and to be apart for extended periods of time was almost more than he could bear. It was worse than trying to come off the most addictive drug, or so he had been told by a fellow princeps once – an officer who had
originally hailed from the hive-world of Babel

Side effects of separateion from a Titan. It's like an addiction quite literally, which makese some sense - it woudl be like having part of your body separated from you. Also psychic probing for medical purposes, and our princeps being at least 150 years old.

Page 55
"Varne." Princeps Ekhardt addressed the most junior member of his bridge crew. "Life-signs?"
"Scanning, sir," Ekhardt's tactical officer answered, his response a dull monotone. "No life-signs detected. I repeat, no life-signs. We got them, sir!"

Titans unsurprisingly have life form sensors.

Page 55
Ekhardt proclaimed, his echoing words crackling out of vox-casters in every body cavity of Tyrannus Maximus, from the humid, steaming engine rooms to the gunnery nests high on the titan's hunched shoulders, another ten metres above the command deck of the war machine.

The gunnery stations on the Warlord seem to be 10 metres or so above the command deck.

Page 56
He had made Emperor knew how many hundred victory speeches in his two hundred years as princeps, but he never forgot how much they were appreciated by a crew who had just brought about a victory, and he never forgot their worth to a commander.

I like this passage (and other rleated ones I didnt quote) as it shows this guy isnt an asshole. I rather like him, although princeps aren't as a rule, Tech rpriests. Also he's 200 years old.

Page 57
"It sounds as if we need the surveyors and augury cogitators overhauled as well when we get back to the forge-workshops then." Ekhardt rumbled, "along with the abdominal repairs and Emperor-alone-knows what else the tech-priests will find once they open old Tyrannus up."

The Warlord Titan continued at a stately pace through the toxic wasteland, swirls of radioactive ash and oxide deposit dust thrown up from the dune sea with every earth-shaking step, each stride carrying the titan forward twenty metres.

Our Warlord buddy making 20 metres per step. Even assuming he only takes one step every two seconds, that's probably a good 36 kph off road. Hell even if its 1 stride every 3 seconds that's 25 kph, which is still faster offf road than a Revaer Titan as per IA stats. In fact to be slower than a Reaver, off road the Titan has to take at least 1 stride every 5 or more seconds. Probably more like six or more

PAge 57-58
The link. The esoteric mind-impulse connection with the spirit of the beast itself: the mind of Tyrannus Maximus. Thousands of years old, venerable as a god, bestial as an insatiable savage hunger, and malignant as a cancerous tumour, it was always there within his mind, within
his very soul. Through the cranial implant he felt himself take massive steps through the desert, covering great distances in seemingly no time at all. He stretched out his arms to the horizon and weapons, monstrous ancient relics of a forgotten age, were brought to bear on the distant
mountains. He turned his head and could see thirty kilometres in every direction. Ekhardt's mind melded with the ancient circuitry of the titan, neural relays laid down in the far-distant days of the Dark Age of Technology in the manufactorum-forges of Mars, ten thousand years ago and ten thousand light years away. Cosseted by the warmly familiar surroundings of the mind-impulse link, here he could think, consider and even fantasize, rather than simply having to react, making split second decisions in the heat of battle.

30 km sight range for the princeps, although whether this is sensor range or optical we arne't told. It implies he can target out to the horizon (given a 30-40 meter rough height at least 20-25 km range which meshes with the above sensor/line of sight range) and describes the nature of the Titan machine spirit (being anaimal like.) and the MIU giving him "split second" reaction times in battle.

Also the implication that the Titan does not exactly take slow, staggering measured strides.

Page 59
The decades had slowly but surely caught up with him. A physique that had once won him the title of cadet boxing champion now lacked muscle tone: days and weeks in his command-throne
had taken their toll. And the encounter with the battle fortress had left him drained. His face was drawn, and the colour had been bled from his liver-spotted cheeks.

Yet, his link with the machine also made him strong. For had it not sustained him beyond the natural span a man might expert his life to achieve, without the use of either juvenat drugs or augmetic-organ replacement? He might feel old but his two centuries of loyal service to the
Imperium was nothing compared to the almost immeasurable age of the terrible, awe-inspiring Tyrannus Maximus. One thing was certain: he and the titan were bonded unto death. As the forbidding Princeps Judas Urquart, with whom he had served his cadetship, once told him, 'Once
you're joined with a titan, there's no going back.'

Commentary on the two-edged sword of being a Princeps. On one hand the Titan extends your lifespan greatly without need of augmetics or juvenat, but on the constant connection can leave a long-term princeps greatly atrophied and weakened, especially at greater ages. I must admit I note certain paralllels between Princeps and certain kinds of naval captains (like the Purgatis in Fire Warrior, or Ramas of Drachenfels from the BFG novels.) which only strengthens the idea that many starships are just scaled up warp capable titans (It may be the captain or a techpriest who joins, as in Relentless, but there is some human joined to the ship at some point and helps guide it.

Also once bonded, only death severs the connetion betwene Titan and princeps, it would seem.

Page 59
A rapidly expanding ball of light had appeared on the western horizon. The sudden, blindingly bright explosion threw the landscape into sharp negative contrast, as if the creation of this new sun had brought about premature night.

The light faded as suddenly as it had appeared and through the viewing vista-plate of the titan its crew saw the mushroom cloud, under-lit by nuclear fires, blooming in the distance.

The shockwave hit seconds later.

The blast threw up a wall of sand a hundred metres into the air before it, scouring Tyrannus Maximus with skittering grains, glass-sharp mica particles and larger objects cast up by the power of the explosion. Rocks and boulders bounced off the titan's adamantium hide as the ancient
war machine was subjected to massive shuddering vibrations.

Cabin lights flickered fitfully. Consoles sparked and caught fire. Orrek convulsed out of his seat, cables popping out of his skull implants.

Engineer Dvorad was flung against the side of the command-throne.

Nuclear explosion on the horizon. This would imply its some 20-30 km away, although having the blast hit only "seconds" away suggests closer (depending on how one defines "seconds" of course) and rocks the Titan. The detonation cannot last very long either - seconds at most, almost certainly less than a minute. Somewhere in the high kiloton or low megaton range is my guess.. single mayb double digit megaton depending on how you figure the effects. Of course it doesnt really matter that much, at that range radiation absorbed probably would be in the megajoule-gigajoule range over its enitre surface area, and that's not a dramatic surprise really.

Page 62
He had slipped in and out of consciousness as the ritual progressed, hour after hour, within the medicae vaults of the forge-ship Goliath.

When he woke from these hellish fevered visions to the wheezing of arcane dialysis machines and the steady bleeping of life support auspexes, unable to communicate with the apothecaries and techmarines crowding round the surgical altar, one sound comforted him more than any other. The low chanting of his brothers filling the vault, eased his troubled mind and reminded him of the great future that awaited him.


Brother Dedric had died a second death on Solemnus, the armour of his sarcophagus having been breached by the detonation of a tankbusta bomb, the shrapnel from the blast pulverising what was left of his brain. The treasured relic of his battle-suit had been recovered after the
planet had been reclaimed, and carried aboard the forge-ship with all due pomp and ceremony.
There the ancient artefact had been painstakingly repaired by the fleet's techmarines and artificers, utilising arcane knowledge that had long ago passed into ritualised mythology, as Marshal Brandt's fleet began the Solemnus Crusade. Chanting prayers over the monstrous
mechanical shell, applying healing welds and lubricating unctions, the keepers of the forbidden knowledge of Mars restored the adamantiumarmoured fighting machine to its former glory, readying it for a new incumbent, one considered worthy of such an honour by his fellows

This is, as I recall Brother Jarold, my absolute favorite character in this entire series, and one of the best Dreadnoughts this side of Bjorn the Fell-Handed.

Page 63
He had been born again, into a body of metal, no longer a super-human warrior but two tonnes of stomping, crashing, high-calibre death-spewing killing machine. He would remain forever interred inside the shell of a machine three times the height of a man, the ultimate fusion of the biological and the mechanical, experiencing the world through mechanical senses, until one day, possibly many thousands of years later, the Emperor called him to the halls of his ancestors after an eternity of battle.

Jarrold's dreadnought body. 2 tonnes is rather low for a Dreadnought considering Forge World stats go for like 10-12 tonnes typically. Maybe he's a lightweight model :P

Also implied lifespan of Dreaddies.

Page 65
As the dreadnought drop pod plunged through the stratosphere, freezing high-altitude winds cooled thousand degree entry-heated panels until a skin of ice formed around the craft. Inside it, insulation maintained the internal temperature at the optimum level for all mechanical and
electronic systems to remain fully functional.

Ancient cogitators, their esoteric operation only half-understood by the erudite techmarines of the Chapter, downloaded thousands of gigabytes of data into the dreadnought, all the information he would need for the mission ahead. Details about the planet itself, from its topography and climate to its orbital distance from the system's sun and seasonal cycles; the accepted Imperial historical record of the Third War for Armageddon; current statistics of Imperial losses and gains; analysis of ork warband deployments; were all inputted directly into his brain. They were relayed via data-channels and cerebellum plugs through mind-impulse wetware, from ports that linked the dreadnought to the pod's systems, so that it could autonomously access the pod's data-core.

The pod shook again as it hurtled towards the planet's surface at several hundred kilometres an hour, the ten-kilometre descent projected to only last a matter of minutes. But to the motion of atmosphere-buffeted, high-speed descent was added the sensation of centrifugal spin. As
well as being transmitted by the armour's surveyors through the links of his still intact sub-dermal black carapace, Jarold felt this new rotation through the movement of his paraplegic body locked inside the amniotic tank of the dreadnought.

Electronic ears heard, and motion-sensors detected the vibrations of, the explosions impacting on the hull of the drop pod.

Jarrold's drop pod descent. The most interesting bit is the "thousands of gigabytes" of downloaded data being stuck into his memory - it seems typical for a Black Templar Dreadnought to be inloaded with terabytes of data during an assault. More than that, the data is being downloaded into the dreadnought in a matter of minutes tops. This is a rare and interesting look at some aspects of 40K computer technology, and suggests certain superiorities may exist. The question of course is - how "rare/not rare" is this? It's a drop pod cogitator, which while not exactly trivial or common, is hardly archeotech either. Dreadnoughts are, but in that context it would only apply to the storage capabilities of the dreadnought itself not the download rate.

I'm not sure what else this might say about computer capabilitlies - the fact they seem to input such a huge quantity of information yet Jarrold never apparently has super super long delays finding or processing it would be impressive - but that is more conjecture than fact and I am no computer expert :)

Also glimpses at the sensory capabilities of this particular dreadnought.

Page 68
The two amber circular crosshairs on the heads-up display of his cockpit glided towards each other as the fighta-bommer came into viewthrough the front windshield of the plane. The crosshairs overlapped and changed to flashing red. The visual was accompanied by a highpitched
beeping. The Lightning's machine spirit had target lock.

He had let one get through: there wouldn't be any others. Conrad Straeker, ace Imperial Lightning pilot of Blitz Squadron, depressed the lascannon triggers. Streams of brilliant white light streaked
from the wingtip mounted weapons, peppering the fighta-bommer's tail fins with flashes of white fire. The alien craft veered sharply.

He fired again, his last shot puncturing a fuel line. The crude plane's fuel tanks ignited in a magnesium flash that left Straeker blinking away a purple after-image for several seconds. The ork's fate was sealed.

Straeker, a navy pilot's lightning. Computer controlled gunnery.

PAge 69
The greenskin craft appeared to be built with only two things in mind: speed and firepower. One system was not effectively shielded from another, so that if one part of the craft went down, was destroyed or ruptured, then the rest would soon follow. There was no thought given to pilot safety, but then what Straeker knew of the ork flyboyz' mentality from first-hand experience suggested that the pilots didn't care.

Straeker contemplates Ork fighter design. apparently this is in contrast to Imperial design, since he is an Imperial pilot.

Page 69
Their red-painted fighter craft, with snarling mouthed nose cones and flamepainted engine housings were all for show, the need to show-off born out of some alien sense of bravado. There was no attempt to hide the craft from an enemy that relied on its own eyesight rather than optically-superior surveyor arrays and machine-slaved auspexes.

Imperial vs Ork targeting :D

Page 70
Lightning Two's machine spirit beeped wildly. Target lock acquired. With the flick of a switch Straeker returned the lascannons to cogitator control and gunned the trigger on his control column that would fire the nose-mounted autocannon. The roar of the gun was lost amidst the roar of the engines and the doppler scream of the dive, Straeker followed the whizzing rounds to their target.

His cannon-fire shredded the top of the nearest plane, tearing great holes through the body of the
craft. The cockpit vanished in an explosion of glinting glass shards, which looked like diamonds in the sharp sunlight.

Machine spirit targeting for autocannons as well, and lasguns can be computer controlled.

Page 71
The pilot-less plane collided with the back of the second craft, tearing away the tail section of its fuselage. A split second later, the second plane's tanks blew, setting off its payload of bombs and missiles in the process.

The fireball rushed up to meet Straeker and then he was blasting out the other side, pulling back hard on the con-stick, abandoning the orkf-reed pod to make planetfall unhindered, and catching a third fighta-bommer in his sights. A rapid rattling volley put an end to the flyboy
before the ork even knew it was in trouble.

Straekers fighter passes more or less intact through the fireball of an exploding ORk fighter, including its missile and bomb payload.

Page 71
Above him was the distinct silhouette of a Lightning. His heads-up display marked it as Maxx Hellas's fighter.

Lightning HUD.

Page 72
Then reality hit him as Hellas's fighter disappeared in a rapidly expanding ball of light as its power-core exploded. Straeker's craft bucked as it met the spreading shockwave that was all that remained of Lighting Three. He suddenly caught a snatch of guttural barking as interference briefly patched ork radio signals through on the squadron's comms-frequency. It sounded like laughter.

He hit the alien plane head on. He was so close he could actually see the horrified expression on the ork's goggle-eyed face as he put several rounds through the front of the cockpit, exploding the alien's brains across its cockpit.

Several autocannons explode the Ork's skull, although to be fair you dont' need tremendous firepower to do that :)

Page 73
Bullets spanged off the craft's hull.

Straeker turned his head to see a fang-mawed plane bearing down on him in a strafing, killing run. Gunfire emitted from its chunky shooters and they riddled the side of his plane. His heads-up display blinked off.

The glasteel of his cockpit shattered and was torn away by the whipping wind.

Ork gunfire seems to both penetrate and deflect off the Lightning's hull. Maybe it depends upon attack angle or range?

Page 75-76
Garek had accepted Gervais as his apprentice on leaving Solemnus to undertake the fleet's
pilgrimage to the liberation of Lugnasad. Normally this period in a Black Templar's training would only last a few years at most. Under the guidance of the Chapter's chaplains, as well as that of his initiate, the neophyte was inducted fully into the brotherhood, having trained in the art of war and been taught the rituals of the order. It was also during this novitiate that the brother would have the last of the specially cultured organs implanted into him that would transform him utterly into a Space Marine.

But Brother Gervais still served Garek as his servant, when he was not in battle; he tended to domestic chores and waited on him at Chapter feasts. There had been few of those in the last twelve years, as the crusade ploughed its way between the stars, just as there were few of the
specially grown gene-seed implants.

A Chapter's future was dependant on the survival of its gene-seed. It took many months to propagate new zygotes from a progenoid gland. Gene-seed could only be obtained by removing the progenoid glands from a still living, or more often very recently deceased, Marine. It was
the responsibility of the Chapter's apothecaries to harvest these precious glands from their fallen brethren, extracting the progenoid organs from the dead and dying Space Marines on the battlefield, frequently whilst the battle still raged around them. If the apothecaries failed in their appointed task then there was always the danger of the total loss of a particular type of gene-seed which could have disastrous consequences. The extinction of a gene-seed would result in the extinction of the corresponding zygote. Were that to happen to the gene-seed responsible for culturing fresh progenoids in new recruits, or the biomechanical linking black carapace, it would
effectively mean the lingering death of a Chapter. It would be unable to replenish its ranks with novitiate Marines after their warriors had fallen in the endless battles to preserve the Emperor's galaxy-spanning realm.

With the destruction of the great keep on Solemnus, much of the fleet's precious store of genetic material had been lost too. What remained, preserved inside the battle-brothers of the crusade was now even more valuable. The apothecaries fulfilled their duties religiously, extracting
the progenoid glands from the corpses of dead Marines. They could afford to waste nothing. It was a gruesome task, but one which had to be done.


Due to the severely depleted gene-seed stock of Marshal Brant's crusading fleet some of the zygote-producing genetic material now only existed inside the battle-brothers, so short were they of the precious progenoid glands.

This meant that until one of his brothers died in battle – which he did not wish on anyone, in fact he would give his own life to avenge such a death if need be – and the precious progenoid cells could be cultivated, Gervais would remain a neophyte, awaiting the final additions to the
very fibre of his being that would make him one of the Adeptus Astartes at last.

A bit on Black Templar recruiting/training practices and some of its peculairities with regard ot the Gene seed, as wlel as the importance of Gene Seed as a whole . The curious implication here is that "gene seed" progenoids can suffer "partial" losses, such as the loss of a particular organ or such. This is actually the first I have heard of it.

Also we get mention of the possibility of removing Gene-seed from living marines (or recently dead) although it is also specifically stated that Gervais can't be raised until another battle brother dies.

Page 77
Was it possible the place where they were about to make their stand against the greenskin menace was where others had once made their stand against the hellish forces of the traitor Primarch Angron, five hundred years before?

Wolfram's memory was longer than most of the brothers of the Solemnus Crusade, and his access to restricted, sacred information was greater than many of his Chapter due to his venerable position as a chaplain of the Adeptus Astartes. As such he held many of the secrets of the Chapter and the history of the Adeptus Astartes close, preserving them for future generations so that the warriors of the Imperium might never forget their sacred duty or rest on their laurels in damning complacency

The Chaplains of the Black Templars (at least) hold secrets from their battle brothers. Angron's time on Armageddon seems to be one such.

Page 77
The crozius was both the chaplain's rod of office and a weapon, and each one was different.

The one in Wolfram's possession was an ancient artefact, handed down from one generation to the next for the last five thousand years. Its head was in the form of the Black Templar's cross insignia, but the edges of the flaring cross blades had been sharpened, turning it into a
vicious, double-headed axe. A power source and disruptor generator concealed within its haft sheathed the axe-head in a shimmering blue energy field that tore apart anything struck by the weapon.

Crozius Arcanum.

Page 81
Through his optic-enhancing visor, the veteran sergeant could see that these particular ork vehicles, as well as being painted the mandatory red, bore arrow and knife glyphs. The data-core in Uther's suit flashed up, in gothic runes on his heads-up display, that these were orks of the High Speed Killz tribe.

More optic enhancement capabilities and a HUD in Astartes helmets.

Page 84
The brothers of his Chapter were not like the siege warfare specialists of the Imperial Fists or the Codex Astartes-bound Ultramarines, with their utilisation of long-range combat and ranged weapons. For the sons of Sigismund, theirs was the way of righteous wrath, fighting face-to-face
with the enemy. Conquest in close combat was the path to earning honour and respect, and making sure that the enemy was truly vanquished.

At a rough estimate Bryce guessed that the greenskins outnumbered the Templars two to one...

Black Templars (at least these particular oens) seem to regard Ultramarines as long ranged/ranged weapon users, rather than close in sorts. This owuld be news to some like Uriel Ventris and Cato Sicarius. Or even Calgar, I imagine.

Page 85
The pilot turned, snarling, to find Bryce's pistol pointing into one goggled eye. The bolt, a tiny self-propelled, armour-piercing, mass-reactive missile in its own right, punched through the lens, into the ork's eye and took out the back of its head in a blast of blood, bone and brain. The force of the shot pushed the pilot over on top of the koptas controls. The craft nose-dived sharply.

Ork has its brains and part of its skull blown out the back of its head by polt pistol round. Ork heads are much bigger, much tougher and much more bone filled than human skulls, so this is somewhat more impressive than simply blowing apart a normal human skull (at least several times more powerful I'd wager.) Single or double digit grams of tnt maybe, not including the impact.

Page 85
Jump packs provided assault squads with incredible speed and maneuverability in one direction, but their limited flight capability meant that this ability to make a precision high speed strike was countered by a lack of complex aerial maneuvers.

Benefit of jump packs.

Page 86-87
An over-eager greenskin, who was already taking pot-shots at the dug-in Space Marines with a heavy-calibre weapon from the back of a wrecking ball equipped trakk, scored a lucky hit against Brother Daman as he came into land. The slug barely scratched the Marine's armour, but the force of it spun him round so that he hit the ground hard, shoulder first, and the velocity of the impact sent him rolling into the path of another buggy.

A tonne of ork metal hit Daman, crushing him under its wheels. There was a sharp crack. The buggy bounced on, its occupants uncaring of the Marine's fate.

Daman sat up. His body had left an indent in the comparted ash. He was unable to move his left arm at the shoulder. The auto-reactive shoulder plate had been damaged in some way by the collision. The engines of his jump pack had also failed, sand and ash were now clogging
the intakes.

Hearing a whooping cry, he turned to face another trakk that was swerving from its previous course to ran him over too. In a few scant seconds the vehicle was on him. He flung himself back onto the ground and rolled to avoid the clattering treads of a caterpillar track. As the
trakk passed harmlessly over him Daman brought up his chainsword. The spinning teeth screamed as they met metal and Daman found himself dragged along for several metres before his weapon sheared through the vehicle's back axle. With a grinding crash the back wheels of the trakk parted company and the rear of the transport's chassis thumped down onto the ground.

Black Templar gets hit by a cannon shot powerful enough to physically knock him backwards and send him tumbling - probably autocannon grade of some kind (less than 50mm I'd say no way its like a 75-100mm tank gun or something!) And also survives getting run over by a one tonne Ork vehicle.

Also Chainsword severs an Ork vehicle's axle, albeit only after some time.

Page 87
The Castellan followed the trajectory of the rockets, fixing them within the scarlet gaze of his bionic eye. He began to track the nearest missile with his plasma pistol.


A hail of weapons fire tore upwards, bolter shells, plasma discharges and las-blasts detonating the falling ork rockets in a withering storm of fire.

Ork rockets launched from buggies, trakks, and battlewagons. The Black Templars shoot them down out of the sky.

Page 88
Another three-wheeled bike, this one with a sidecar gun emplacement, roared past, bullets spanging from Ansgar's ancient artificer armour.

Artificer armour relatively immune to Ork gunfire.

Page 88
The greenskin creature was as tall as a Space Marine. Its head was angular with the narrow forehead of its kind and disproportionately wider jaw. From the ugly rift of its mouth protruded long tusks. Pointed ears jutted out bat-like from its bald head. The rest of the creature's broad shouldered body was made up of muscle and more muscle, covered by a leathery, pockmarked green hide.


Black Sword sliced through the alien's crudely manufactured flak armour and deep into the meat of its body.

ORk as tall as an AStartes, wearing Flak armour. The Black Sword isn't evne slowed.

Page 91
But they were sorely misguided in such an assumption, for their enemy was no mere hive-born militia, planet defence force, or even Imperial guardsmen: they were Space

Mention of hive militia, PDF and Imperial guardsmen, and the usual "AStartes are the best" stuff.

Page 92
Gervais knew, thanks to indoctrination sessions in the Chapter's ancient teaching machines, that some orders of the Magos Biologis believed that the ork race was an ungodly amalgam of fungus and animal. If this was the case what more proof was needed that these alien abominations were contrary to the will of the Emperor and as such should be expunged from existence?

Then there were the jutting tusks, torn ears, stapled wounds, rebuilt limbs and rudimentary bionic replacements. It seemed that an ork's physiology was incredibly resilient and could cope with the most crude repairs, savage surgical procedures and brutal augmetic enhancements. Amongst them, the greenskin horde displayed proudly worn collections of scars, many of which would have denoted killing wounds for any human – other than a superhuman Space Marine.

A whole range of methods and materials had been used to repair these savage injuries: large, industrial staples; sutures of a thickness more akin to rope than surgical thread; sections of scarred metal plate; rusted bolts; industrial tape, like that used by the Imperial Guard to denote
the nature of their ammo clips; and simple, knotted scar tissue. Sometimes the edges of the wounds bore the additional scars of tooth marks, as if mandibles had been used to clamp the flesh together until the wound started to knit. Whether these techniques were applied by the aliens' own medics or carried out by the injured orks themselves Gervais didn't know, but found both possibilities equally likely from such a barbaric

Commentary on the Ork biology and general resilience (the spore thing is still considered a theory here, suggesting its knowledge/accpetance is perhaps not uniform across the Imperium or even disputed despite it being proven in others. Also, Orks are tougher than humans but not nearly so on average as a Space Marine. More powerful, developed Orks are likely an exception of course.)

Also commentary on Ork surgical techniques.

Page 92
The all-enclosing suit of thick ceramite plates not only protected Leorad from the orks' gunfire but also supplemented his already prodigious strength. Thanks to electrically stimulated fibre-bundles implanted in the armour he could wield the boltgun with ease, using both hands, whereas a normal man would have to have been incredibly strong even to lift it.

Astartes boltguns so big and heavy only a strong man could lift one (but not fire it) suggesting the thing must weay many tens of kilos. Also power armour resistant to Ork gunfire.

Page 93
With spent shell-casings flying from the boltgun's breech, Leorad cut down the teeming orks in a withering hail of flesh exploding, boneshattering fire.

Bolt gun ejecting casings (despite bieng described as a "missile" earlier) and capable of "exploding flesh" and shattering bone.

Page 93
The spike-helmeted brute came at him wielding a chainknife, the rotating blades driven by a coughing petrol engine. Wolfram startled the ork by leaning into its charge.

Gasoline powered Chainknife.

Page 94
"However, there is a problem. Long-range auspexes and comms are currently out of action. Techmarine Isendur, if you would care to explain?"


"Could it not also be something that the alien abominations managed to do." Chaplain Wolfram suggested ominously, "intentionally or not?"

Adlar considered the priest-marine's suspicions. It seemed quite likely that the orks' tinkering had created the interference, but how and why he could only guess.

Ork jamming of comms and sensors. It shows the Black Templars are familiar with such capabilities being employed.

Page 95
"Excalibur will scout ahead to warn us of dangers hidden from us by our blinded surveyors."

Again blinded sensors, so they use a land raider to scout.

Page 95
Fighting Company Adlar set out. Hour after hour they trudged through the shifting sands of the wasteland. No ordinary men could have survived such a forced march, the toxic atmosphere itself threatening a lingering death for anyone breathing it in. But for the Space Marines, thanks to the filters in their suits and their own built-in biological ones, it was hardly any different to breathing pure oxygen.

Space Marines endure "hours long" marches in adverse, toxic conditions.

Page 95
Adlar consulted his own auspex but saw nothing through the snow of interference.

Still more jamming. The Black Templars all seem to be well equipped with auspex. Whether handheld or helmet mounted we arne't quite sure yet.

Page 95
More static, then: "-plosion. I say again, Hellsbreach base has been destroyed by atomics. Everyone is dead."

Orks using atomics to wipe out a base, which has been seen/described earlier.

Page 97
From massive iron hooves, large enough to crash a whole tank regiment beneath them, armoured adamantium greaves rose up hydraulically powered piston legs, more than ten times the height of a man, to an abdomen of hip servos, gyro-stabilisers and a swivel-jointed pelvis, larger
than an Imperial turret emplacement. Supported on top of this was the thorax of the titan, housing the massive turbine engines and plasma drive power core – a reactor capable of generating enough energy to power a starship. The defensive void shield generators were also found
within the main body of the god-weapon.

Titans generate enough energy to "power a starship." what kind of starship we aren't told, and that is a pretty wide definition (especially considering the novel itself has lightnings powered by plasma reactors.)

Also the legs and torso are "ten times the height of a man" - call it 15-20 metres.

Page 98
The hull of the titan bristled with machine-slaved weapons, communication arrays, counter measure dispensers, surveyor units and crewoperated gun emplacements: autocannons and rocket launchers. Surmounting the hulking body of the giant humanoid war machine were the
silo-sized ammunition hoppers and autoloaders, along with the shoulder-mounted turbo-lasers, which dwarfed the torso's other armaments.

But these were as nothing compared to the city-levelling arm weapons.

The first of these was the huge Gatling Blaster. Attached to the right shoulder socket of the land-battleship, it was capable of firing a chilling infantry-scything hail of 150mm shells that could turn lines of men into a bloody mist and pulverise the most well-armoured super-heavy tank.

But the most powerful and devastating device borne by the titan was the laser cannon that stood in place of the gargantuan man-machine's left arm. It had been named the ''Volcano Cannon'' by the servants of the Legionnes Titanicus because of the raw power it could level at an
enemy. It was a weapon capable of turning rock to bubbling magma, of slicing through a starship's armour and even of fracturing the bedrock of a planet.

Titan weapons again. Note the "city levelling" arm weapons described for both. The gatling blaster is also mentioned as being able to pulverize any superheavy with its 150mm gatling shells, and the Volcano cannon can "turn rock to magma, slicing through starship armour and fracture the bedrock of the planet.) The last two sound impressive but bear in mind again that a.) starship is vague, and we already know an entire Legion of titans cannot hope to harm a small cruiser (Execution Hour), much less a battleship, and "fracturing bedrock" doesn't really tell us about the scope of devastation (it could be a small fracture - it just suggests it has considerable penetration.)

Page 98
The titan's entire surface and countless internal compartments were riddled with access hatches, observation platforms, maintenance ports, access ladders and railed walkways: several hundred kilometres of them. It was said that a man could get lost inside a titan and never find his
way back to his post, to the of heat exhaustion, exposure to lethal radioactivity or even starvation, if he wasn't killed in battle as a result of an injury sustained by the god engine itself.

Surface and interior of a titan. This rather strongly suggets a good bulk of its interior is hollow.

Page 99
Ekhardt had heard dark rumours about the technomagi of Mars, how they were able to extend their lives for hundreds of years by means of ancient genetic-replication vats. Shrivelled husks that were once men maintained their secretive stranglehold on the secrets of technology that
lay buried beneath the Adeptus Mechanicus's capital world. It was also alleged that the minds of the technomagi tragically continued to decay, no matter what life-extending techniques were used on their bodies, so that as the endless centuries passed they grew increasingly insane, their grip on reality slipping into a miasma of superstition, blood-sacrifice and madness. It was something he had heard but something he also chose not to believe, for if he thought that way surely madness would overcome him. Above the machina opus, the helmeted robot head of the titan's command deck hung between its heavily armoured shoulders, thirty metres above the ground. From here, every system on board the ancient machine was monitored, whilst a crew of over a hundred maintained and operated them. Mindless slave-machine servitors, gunnery crews, power plant supervisors, tech-adept engineers and press-ganged ratings
ensured the continued practical operation of a thousand systems, from life-support and gyroscopic stabilizing to missile loading and communications throughout the colossus. In turn, the titan's crew answered to the four officers who manned the armoured head command

Titan has a crew of one hundred (including sevitors) and the command tower is some 30 metres above ground. The gunnery stuff is 10 metres higher, and we know the legs/torso are "ten times the height of a man" telling us the rest we might want to know.

Also note the mention about the AdMech and life extension thorugh "gene-replication vats" (cloning, like vat grown servitors or such - possibly through growing new bodies or organs and replacing them and transferring the mind?) This is actually lifted, IIRC from third edition, but it was thousands of years not hundreds of extended lifespan.

Page 102
"You forget. It is most likely the shock. Your mind is lost within the mind-impulse link of the titan.
What you see before you, what you feel is but the ghost of a memory, preserved within the mind core of Tyrannus Maximus itself. You are not really on Mars. Neither are you old and frail."

The Titan's memory core seems to preserve the thoughts and memories of other princeps.

Page 104

Again theTitan has copies (at least in part) of prior Princeps who commanded this Titan. They seem to merge with and incorporate themselves into the Titan's own machien spirit - a osrt of gestalt I guess. This in turn suggests that as they grow older, Titans might gain a store of memories and knowledge, which might actually be useful in battles.

Page 107
"'Electromagnetic pulse, sir." Orrek explained, "as a result of the atomic explosion. It overloaded the ancient's circuitry and shut down everything."

EMP from the blast knocked out the Titan. One thing I was wondering about this from teh blast and such is whether the void shields were active. Seems unlikely given what happened but one never knows.

Page 108
"But." the tactical officer continued, hastily, "before the EM-pulse knocked out our systems the surveyors registered a spike of radioactivity that went off the scale."
"Where from?" Ekhardt demanded, some of the old fire returning to his voice.
"Twenty-seven kilometres west, bearing two-six-three. The titan pens of Hellsbreach, sir."

Range of 27 km at least for the sensors. That seems to give us an diea of the distance involved and would definitely suggest (through blast effects) a considerably powerful, megaton range explosive.

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