Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

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Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

Yep. Its time for part two in the Ian Watson Grimdarkfest btter known as the Inquisition War. I exaggerate slightly, but only a bit. This is still a good book, but not as good as the first, and it starts the slide into the madness that will be the third novel (with all its weirdness.) And I'm still convinced this has something to do with Draco's obsession with sex and his own repressed urges.

That said, this novel will be saved by (if you can believe that after Space MArine) the intorducion of the Fists under LExandro again. But a less.. creepy Lex. At least somewhat less creepy (or maybe its just less creepy when placed up in comparison to Jaq.)

Page 8
Olafson’s last sight could hardly be claimed to be the discharge of this pistol [a plasma pistol] that sight was far too blinding and all-consuming. Already the sun-hot plasma had vaporised Olafson’s eyes, his face, his whole head.
A headless corpse lay supine, shoulders steaming. The killer had laid down the exhausted gun to re-energize itself and, where a head had been, he placed the floppy false face of Erikson.

Lower limit (by NecronLord) was alreay done in the Grand 40K quantification thread - long and short 10-15 MJ at least for vaporising a head with a plasma shot. Probably slightly more since there's no neck too, and the shoulders (and possibly upper chest) are steaming (boiling/cauterized) Vaporising the neck might add another couple MJ (2-3) at least, and the upper shoulders/torso area would be around 5-7 kg of mass to affect. To boil would be an extra 1.3-1.8 (call it 1-2) MJ. Cauterization (say 300-400C) 4.5-7 MJ.

Overall, call it between 15-25 MJ at least. That's alot lower than some of the latter calcs for plasma weapons but there are some things to consider.

1.) Plasma weapons as a rule tend to be variable output like most 40K weapons. At least two settings.

2.) They tend to vary alot in design. Some incorporate safety measures to reduce the risk of overheating. Lower outputs are one of these factors, since less energy means its easier to cool (and less dangerous.) There can be many reasons for design tradeoffs, and not all plasma pistols neccesarily have to be of the "vaporizes/cremates a person in a single shot" variety.

Page 9
The Ice-sheet of Antarcitca was over three kilometres thick. Carved in bedrock a further kilometre below that frigid shield was the most ancient of all the headquarters of the Inquisition.
Admittedly, scattered across the ice-sheet there rose many great baroque edifices of molecularly bonded ice.

Hidden deep below the blank expanses in between were uncountable cubic kilometres of arrtificial caverns and vast tunnels and grottoes and antrums housing sombre labyrinthine complexes and whole cities of servitors and scribes. Of protectors and warders and functionaries.
'Molecularly bonded ice' - exotic materials science or perhaps forcecfield techs. Inquisiton headquarters (or one, at least at this time) was 1 km below the surface already 3 km covered with ice. Interesting from the viewpoint of planetary bombardment.

Also interesting to see Terra still has at least some form of water still, although I wouldn't want to be the one to drink it.

Page 11
..permaparchment pages of great brass-bound tomes. Plasteel shelves towered in obscurity.

Yet a faint hunch had directed his steps to the depository, which only a few glow-globes lit dimly, and which was deserted but for a solitary simian servitor. The creature shuffled about, its knuckles dangling upon the floor of polished rock.
not sure what "permaparchment" is. The Servitor is interesting.. The "brass bound" bit is worth noting too.

Page 11
As he opened his mouth to summon the servitor, laser pusles flashed from the high gallery cloaked in deepest shadow. Air and dust ionized to a brilliant green. The pulses hit books, melting brass, setting permaparchment ablaze. Firenze had already thrown himself sidelong and was rolling, clutching his own laspistol, pointing it upward.

An ambush? HEre in the headquarters?"

He fired at the gallery and molten iron sprayed.
He was already rolling again. From further along the gallery more pulses streaked, glancing off the stone floor, setting more tomes on fire.
Note the "pulses" firing. We're not sure what kind of weapon it is, but the pulses of an unknown number and duration melt an undefined amount of brass and ignite teh books. You can't really calc it, but it probably owuld take hundreds of kilojoules at least to melt brass (this site which I've linked to before gives numbers - 205 kj/kg for heat of fusion and 385 J/kg for specific heat of copper, which melts at around 1350K- 500-600 kj per kg melted - I'm sure around a kilogram to within an OOM could be melted here)

More reliably... Firenze is using a laspistol and fires at the Gallery with enough to "melt" iron. Assuming a 2 cm by 2cm by 2cm "cube" of iron (roughly the width of a lasgun beam by most sources treating them as affecting a roughly "finger width" area.).. 63 grams of iron would be melted. At least 75.6 kilojoules would be required in a 300 K atmosphere to melt it, not including "spraying". Probably not more than a few shots, and likely to be only a single one.

This also ignores the fact that at least some vaporization would occur for the "spraying" to occur. (Vaporizing the same volume would require around 473 kilojoules, ignoring the possibility of raising iron to boiling point in an atmosphere, which could raise the figure even higher - the melting point of iron is ~1800 K. Boiling point is some 3100K which would add some ~30 kilojoules more to the calc. at least.) The area affected would be much bigger, since the molten iron would surround the impact point to some unspecified distance raising the calc even more.

Of course, I've been told I am accused of "over-stating" calcs for lasweapons by people who think they have done more research on the topic ("*snicker*) If we assume a "half centimeter" diameter beam (which has been stated in the novel "Only in Death") for a lasweapon.. the actual mass affected would be about a gram or so of metal. 1.2 kj to melt, and 7-8 kj at least for the vaporization calcs I estimated above. And it would still be conservative as hell.

Of course, if we wnat to push it to even MORE conservative... we go back to trusty atomic rockets and this little passage:
I'm assuming a weapon designed to penetrate ~30cm in soft body tissue. This gives about 15cm in bone or plastic, 5cm in brick or concrete, or 2.5cm in steel or most ceramics.
With the rough dimensions above (assume maybe a bit thicker for the iron) we might get 1-2 kilojoules, although that still won't account for the melting (it would be purely mechanical damage.) This, obviously, is melting.

And no matter how you calc it, the volume affected is still a lower limit (since it only affects the approximate area of the beam.)

Page 12
Grenades, hidden bomblets: a whole line of these must have been triggered remotely all at once! No blastwave had swept Firenze off his feet. Consequently the tiny bombs must have been krak - their explosive effect concentrated, not dispersed.
- Krak grenades are described as having their explosive effects "concentrated, not dispersed." Note that I'm not totally convinced Krak grenades are shaped charges always, although they have been described as such.

Page 12
The ambusher would by now be roasted, if he hadn't already been hurled to his death or chopped apart.
Presumably this refrs to being "chopped apart" by the lasfire, again confirming the essentially sustained nature. Going by atomic rockets standard, and ignoring melting/vaporization (which would likely be low MJ/high KJ range - see the same event happening in First and Only.) it would take a few kilojoules per "slice" to to slice someone apart like that.

Page 13
As a result of the needless exterminatus, Stalinvast had been rendered lifeless and lost to the Imperium.
Since Firenze was somehow implicated in this disaster, he had volunteered - aye, volunteered - for questioning under deep truth. The onion rings of Firenze's mind had been peeled one by one, and examined and wrung dry, until he was as a newborn baby..
The Inquisition had re-educated Firenze honourably for fifteen years. By then he was in his seventies. To amortize their investment, he was rejuventated, in the process losing some of the memories of his second childhood.
1.) Stalinvast is "lost" to the Imperium, indicating they have no real means of re-inhabiting it. Which is odd. While the existence of terraforming is rather inconsistently applied in the literature, by and large it doesnt' seem all that commonplace, yet they can make even uninhabitable worlds into livable by some measure (CF Tallarn, Krieg, or Valhalla - hell Hives are built on that.)

2.) The Inquisition can perform interrogations on people to learn facts by eseentially stirpping their minds away like the Emperor did to Jaq in the first novel - one presumes by similar methods. However, unlike the Emperor, they lack the ability ot put back what they takeout.

3.) Rejuvenation involved losing "some" of his memories, suggesting that rejuvenation (or at least some of the techniques) can carry unfortunate side effects.

Page 14

- mention of the "Eternity" project - the search for immortal mutants who might represent a heretical potential "rival" to the GEoM." IE the Sensei.

Page 15
In the wake of exterminatus, not even a breathable atmosphere remained on Stalinvast, let alone any jot of life, however humble.

Proximity to an exterminated worldwould endow some dire alien ritual with a gruseome intensity.
Global destruction - of a once human world - was surely what was attracting the aliens to Stalinvast..
more descriptions of the Stalinvast exterminatus. Atmosphere is implied to be gone, although this may mean its so polluted/dangerous that it is essentially "gone" too. It has been totally sterilized, eventhe simplest forms of life (which would, incidentally, involve some depth of penetration of the surface. So this has implications for the Tyranids, who are known to survive some kinds of Exterminatus.)

Mass Extinction events are perceived (at least by the Inquisition) to be able to "boost" sorcerous rituals. Not a real big shocker since Magic is essentially real in 40K and souls can be seen as a source of power (by Daemons, etc.) so massive amounts of death probably do provide some tappable source of energy.

Page 16
- according to the Inquisitors, the Eldar supposedly (at least at this time) could not steer directly through the warp, but rather used the webway for FTL, because they lacked Navigators and an equivalent to the Astronomicon. Which is true, but that doesn't mean that its the only way to navigate.

Page 17
- Guardsman using "long barreled lasguns."

Page 22
During those awesome moments of communicattion in the throne room, after Jaq had been soul-stripped, then restored again, he believed that the Emperor had manifested a multi-mind at odds with its own self. The Emperor's exalted consciousness had seemed as capracious and as sundry as the galaxy itself where no truth was to be trusted.
It seems that upon meeting the Emperor Jaq has become (yet again) disillusioned with things and goes off seeking answers. This is, out of universe, an excuse to introduce more aspects of 40K prevalent among this tiemframe (the Illuminati, Eldar, etc.) but from the standpoint of plot it means we have to endure more Jaq Draco emoing. At least its not as bad as it will get later on.

Also we have yet another indicaton of the "hive-mind" like entity of the emperor, which hints at the early origins of the "reincarnation of thousands of shamans" in the very early fluff.

Page 23
Only two crew members were aboard, and both of these were dead - recently killed by shuriken pistols. The pistols were clenched in their hands. The whirling razor-discs had sliced each man's face to bloody ribbons, carving through the nasal and lachrymal bones, making porridge of the brains.


Would such men ordinarily have been armed with shuriken pistols to protect them in portside bars and brothels during shore leave? The weapons seemed to be of Martian manufacture, a copy of alien eldar weaponry produced in one of the factory hbives of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- mention of Mars-manufactured shuriken pistols, copy of Eldar weaponry. And evidently used by relatively "common" folk (freighter crews) this being not unusual (or terribly so, at least.)

Also of note is that the AdMech will apparently copy "xenos" tech of some kinds.

Also note the effects of the pistols, which is quite messy and its likely Eldar versions would be worse. And the mention of brothels (Yes, people in the Imperium have sex. They're not all religious fanatics! )

Page 24

- Mention of an "inner, central, and outer" challenge line in the TErra system. At least 3 layers of defense.

Page 24
Finally, space was empty of traffic other than the billionfold burble of radio messages hours and days out of date.

The freighter had passed beyond that zone on the fringe of the planetary system where interstellar vessels jumped into warp space. Sub-stellar ships rarely had reason to venture further outward into the ordinary emptiness.
interminably later, the freighter reached the comet halo.
Jaq hid his ship out in the cometary halo.. light days out. Its implied here also that the "jump out" point for the TErran system is similiarly out that far. I'm guessing they aren't referring to the Oort cloud (which is IIRC around a LY out) but probably the Kuiper belt, which is around 50-100+ AU out (which could be days away)

Page 24
The comet halo seemed empty too. A million jagged mountains of ice or rock circled the frigid void on their millenia long orbits.
Only if one mountain wandered near another and was perturbed and headed inward towards the home planets, would it finally form a visible tail of volatileizing vapour streaming in the solar wind. Then and only then would ti become a comet as such: a dragon-mountain with kinetic energy a thousand times greater than any barrage bomb or thermonuke.
"Mountain" repeated so many times does suggest a multi-km comet diameter... or mountain massed. this page says from 1 to 50 km varying and this one says a few km, so that probably fits in well (most being less than 10 km long, so we can likely assume 2-10 km probably as the likely range)

Density is given above as .1g/cm^3 to 1g/Cm^3 while the wiki entry for Halley's comet indicates an average of .6g/cm^3

Assuming a density of around .5 gm/cm^3 and a diameter of 1 km, the mass is 5.3e14 kg. 2 km, the thing ought to mass 2e15 kg if assumed spherical. According to the impact calculator here suggest highe than 50 km/s as comet velocity. Kinetic energy for the 1 km comet would be 6.2e23 J, while at 2 km it would be 2.5e24 joules.. between 150-600 teratons roughly. Broadly speaking (within an order of magtnidue) you could assume a KE SOMEWHERE in the teraton range.

This in turn means the thermonukes would be somehwere well into the gigaton range. Plasma torps would be orders of magnitude more powerful (~100x if we go by matter/energy conversion, 1000x if we go by space fleet) making them roughly comparable (within an OOM) to the cometary impact themselves.

Page 25
Even so, Tormentum Malorum was shielded by camouflage force-fields and hexes and by an aura of protecton cast by Jaq.
Jaq's ship has stealth capabilities of diverse means.

Page 26
Without a Navigator who could see into the warp, Jaq's ship could never jump away from this nowhere.
Evidently Jaq's ship has no non-navigator means fo navigating (IE not being able to travel a few Light years). Rather poor planning, Jaq.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by andrewgpaul »

Connor MacLeod wrote:And the mention of brothels (Yes, people in the Imperium have sex. They're not all religious fanatics! )
Well, Cain's Last Stand demonstrates even the religious fanatics have sex.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Azazal »

andrewgpaul wrote:
Connor MacLeod wrote:And the mention of brothels (Yes, people in the Imperium have sex. They're not all religious fanatics! )
Well, Cain's Last Stand demonstrates even the religious fanatics have sex.
Hell given the need for warm bodies to fight the endless wars that is grimdark 40K, I'm sure that the religious fanatics of the Empire try to stir up the masses to fuck more. Procreate for the Emperor!!

Though that does raise the question, are there sex inquisitors?

Inquisitor breaks into some poor hive dwellers slum/shanty
"Citizen have for fucked for the Emperor today?"

"What? Who are you? What do you want?"

"I'm with the Fornication Inquisition, have you fornicated today?"

"no... I mean YES, yes I have, 4 times before lunch"

"That many huh? Does the name Slaanesh mean anything to you?

"Ahhh ahhh......"
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

Well, if the fortress worlds like Cadia were to survive, they'd have to have a fairly fast replacement rate.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

More Halrequin comin up...

Page 33
The sun they were heading towards was known as Luxus, and its habitable world was Luxus Prime. This, they presently determined from radio traffic while they were still several days away from the planet itself.
"several days" at least to travel the distances to the planet (billions of km, going by chaos Child) For a distance of ~20 AU, that would require 40 gravities for 2 days. 5 gees at a week or so.

Page 36
Such a flamer was too compact a weapon to be worth firing from a distance nor could its reservoir hold much pressurised fuel. Each blazing aerosol jet was psectacular but it extinguished quickly.
Several bolts erupted in the body of the flamer wielder. It was as though the man had been booby-trapped internally with packets of explosive. These now detonated. For a moment the cultist quivered like jelly. The muscle-bound envelope of his body actually semeed to contain the shock waves. Abruptly he burst apart, gutted thoroughly and bloodily.
Flamer that isnt backpack equipped, probably not terribly effective (although very portable.) May be an indication of how sohpisticated such tech is in the Imperium (even if flamethrowers aren't, per se the best weapon around.)

A couple bolt rounds explode a person. Grenade level damage as per the bolter firepower thread

Page 36
Yes, noisy. Yet with hardly any recoil.
It hardly bucked at all in one's hand.
Bolter in Jaq's hand. What little recoil there is comes from ejecting the shot. Other bolters in other novels (or fluff) have shown significant recoil even without the bolt igniting. This is likely a matter of design more than anything else. The reduced recoil would come without the need for ejection ports or casings at the possible tradeoff of ballistic properites (kinetic damage, penetration, range, etc.)

It is interesting that despite being a "bolt gun" it behaves like a pistol - one handed. Even without the recoil, a big enough bolter would be unwieldy (too "front heavy") to be used one handed, especially lacking the stocks. This would tend to further hint that, unless it is in fact a bolt pistol, it is a rather unusual (rare?) design.

Page 37
The bursts of energy from the laspistol tended to disperse over distancee, especially if the air was hazy, as now. It appealed to her assasin's instincts to speed tiny toxic dartlets by laser pulse into some distant target.
Meh'Lindi using a laspistol and a needler pistol, both technically laser weapons. The laser is described as the propulsive mechanism in the case of the needler. Were I to guess (as I had before with other needler descriptions) that the laser is used to explosively vaporize some portion of the dart to provide propulsive force (sort of like an electro-thermal cannon, or some propsoed methods for asteroid deflection - the vapor would basically act like a propellant to push the projectile (either gun propellant or a rocket, depending on the design. I think both would be possible.) Such a mechanism, if possible, might have interesting implications for 40K projectile weaponry (explaining how some of the higher end examples, like battle cannon, can be so powerful.)

The laser pulses dispersing is interesting, considering the examples of lasguns acting in very dense medium and over long distances (water, and such), and given the 100 meter range from Draco, since its already dispersing so soon now. This may be a result of a particular lasgun design (more power or higher ROF for less range, perhaps - these lasguns do seem rather powerful compared to some others) or it may suggest that the kind of effect a las-weapon has (or that at least some have) is dependent upon range. For example, explosive vaporization, which would create extreme mechanical damage, requires extremely fast delivery of energy on a very small area to achieve the "explosion" - if the beam diffuses too much, it will simply heat the target. So at short ranges it might have more explosive effects, but simply be a heat beam at longer ranges. And we know lasguns have both effects.

Page 38

- Lascannon described here "takes too long to recharge" and "couldn't fan around", making it a poor antipersonnel weapon - this suggests (some) lascannon are not sustained beam weapons (which makse sense. You would want to deliver the energy quickly to maximize damage as per above.)

Page 39
Signs of laxity were everywhere: in the continuing beautification of the cities with mosaics and fountains, in charity towards beggars, in the peace and prosperity of the planet, in regulartions for the benevolent conduct of brothels, in the ever rising standard of cuisine, in the abolition of laws allowing the torture of suspects, even in the pronounciation of the local dialect of Imperial Gothic.
More of that 40K "Grimdark" we've known to love. If it's not tyrannical, overbearing, bleak, and despondent, it isn't 40K!

Actually I am exaggerating a bit, mainly because I generally despise these descriptions for their failure to ever explain the underlying meanings. Its purpose is just ot portray how bleak and hopeless the future in that galaxy is, as if we needed more of that. We know that much of the above can be true and the Imperium by necessity must be restrictive and even oppressive because of the therat of Chaos, Aliens, whatever. Its not good that these things happen, but sometimes it is neccessary for them. Of course, even in early 40K there were examples that contradicted the above - 40K cannot be a totalitarian dictatorship EVERYWHERE - that level of micromanagement isn't possible (paradise worlds, agri worlds, civilised worlds, etc.) Many Hive and Forge worlds as a rule would be more fucked up though (esp the latter), but there are exceptions (Hydraphur from the Shira Calpurnia novles, or Vervunhive.) I just happen to find Ian Watson's depiction here a little excessive for my tastes is all, even some of what he describes certainly does happen.

Page 39

- Luxus prime is a agro world that uses "mechanized harvesters" and raises beef and lamb for export. Some of the yield is exported to the mining world and factory moon (Luna sized.) The rest gets exported to other systems. Reminds me a bit of that world from "Warped StarS" where wheels werne't used but antigrav was. (That was amusing.) It is nice to see a bit of an exception to the "Imperium is built only on the blood and sweat and tears of endlessly sacrificed human labor!" though.

Page 40

- Luxus Prime had armouries in the case of marauding aliens (invasion?) but they had suffered no raids for a thousand years prior to the chaos cult infestation that arose here. I'm not suer whether this is purely for the PDF armies or if they also use militias (like Armageddon did when the Orks came.) Do normal worlds stockpile as badly as some Munitorum-administered worlds (like Vraks, or the munitorum bases at segmentum and sector headquarters.)?

Page 41-42
Without the least betraying signal the soldiers fired their shotguns at Jaq. Two massive blows impacted in his chest, hruling him backward.
The momentum of the shotgun blasts was considerable enough to knock Jaq onto his back at close range.

Page 42
None of the extensive Navigator families maintained a formal chapterhouse on Luxus Prime. Yet numbers of inns catered to interstellar Navigators, ,as well as to ordinarry in-system pilots.
In the Mercantile district adjacent to that ransacked quarter, the mobs had lynched blind astropaths who sent commercial messages for the large food cartels. The cults had assaulted the temple of the Imperial Ecclesiarchy and killed the astropath of the Adeptus Ministorum.
The Navigators have "Chapterhouses" as well as Navigator specific accomodations - thse might be similar to facilities mentioned as well in Farseer and "Woflblade" catering exlcusively to Naviagotrs. They have to do something with all that wealth I suppose.

Also note the mention of astropaths dedicated to "commercial" uses as well as used by the Eclcesarichy. Again its nice to see fluff when it elaborates on aspects OTHER than the purely militant side of thngs (IE that there's an actual inter-galactic economy to help sustain all this warfare.) And I would *hate* to be a psyker in the control of the priests, although who knows this might be an example of some of the hypocrisy you see in the Ministorum at times (who knows whether the common folk know the Ministorum keeps/uses astropaths?)

Page 43

- Amusing that despite the "heretical" standards and "laxity" mentioned above, the Governor of the planet is apparently bisexual and houses a large harem of young male and female slaves.And none of the Ecclesiarchy decided to denounce this.

Again this is hardly unprecedented in 40K, or thta there is such a tremendous economic/social gap (much like in America or other places), but it does illustrate that much of the "bleaknesS" or "grimdark" can vary from world to world or place to place, and much of it dpeends on the world in question (the kind of government or governor, as well as the Imperial forces that might reside there.)

Page 43
Why, Fennix was calling astrally for military assistance form a safe deep location. So would be his counterparrt deep beneath the fortified courthouse.

Assistance from an Arbites ship, if any was in the vicinity of Luxus. Assistance from a ship of the Imperial Guard - or even from a vessel manned by Space Marines.

could one dream of assistance from Space Marines? Could any of those legendary warriors, bastions against so much more terrible foes, be spared to help restore order even if any were within a hundred light years?
The governor and the Arbites have their own astropaths as well. We also get mention of Arbites warships yet again (which echoes what we learn from the Shira Calpurnia novels and Excution Hour, BAttlefleet gothic, and other related sources.)

Space Marines are no shock of course.

What is surprising is the hint that the "Imperial Guard" have ships, since this would violate the whole "separation of forces" idea that is to prevent another horus Heresy from occuring. Several explantions do occur:

- The Guard has actual vessels available. These may not technically be under guard control, but may be attached to the Munitorum (which can often mean the same thing.) or to some Lord General.

- Alternately it may be that some particular guard officer may for one reason or another has his forces attached to a particular warship for one reason or another. A good example of this would be how Ibram Gaunt had a personal frigate at his and the Ghost's disposal (perhaps due to his being a commissar and a serving Guard officer - they do exist.) This would not technically violate the rules.

Note that it IS remotely possible the Guard do have a few ships. These aren't neccesarily warships (and may still depend on navy escort for protection.) We know the Elysians supposedly hav etheir own dropships (its mentioned in various places including the now defunct Third Armageddon website) and we know from the Last Chancer novels that the Storm Troopers had their own troop transports (Inquisitorial Storm troopers would have Inquisitorial vessels like the BFG "Black Ships" and the stuff they borrow from the Navy and paint black.) It would not neccesarily be a large number of vessels (they might keep them around as a mobile emergency force to respond to sudden problems a'la the Space Marines and Arbites) and not in concentrated numbers (thus making it less likely that they could inflict significant harm on the Imperium or unify.)

Hell, the AdMech flaunts that restriction openly as well (but they're the ones who buil the ships, so who will gainsay them?)

Page 44
Jaq crashed back upon a ruptured mosaic. Immediately he was hit, his mesh armour had stiffened. The web of woven thermoplas had become rigid to spread the double impact. Those shotguns had fired solid shells, not scattershot. Two sledgehammer blows at close quarters had knocked him off his feet. He must lie momentarily until the armour relaxed.

We get back to Jaq and the shotguns. We learn that he is (again) knocked on his ass, that the shotguns were firing slugs and not shot (or flechettes). We don't know how far back Jaq got knocked, or the type of slug, but its fair to assume a military shotgun and a military slug (something armor pirecing or meant to put osmeone down fast), Assuming he masses between 70-80 kg and gets knocked back half a meter (consrevative) its at least 15-30 kg*m/s worth of momentum, skewed more towards 20+ kg*m/s since IIRC Jaq is a rather strong, burly guy. This would put those shotguns on the high end of modern shotgun performance (For comparison the AA- has a MV IIRC of around 350 m/s and as a 12 gauge would have a shell massing around 30-35 grams or so - 10-12 kg*m/s. Some shotguns go higher.. 14-16 kg*m/s with higher velocity shells (450-500+ m/s) but thos are so far the highest I've found info on.

I would note that it cna't be TOO high.. 30+ kg*m/s is getting well into the "antimeterial rifle" category for recoil, and many of those need to be braced to work, so its unlikely individual recoil would exceed 35-40 kg*m/s in that csae anyhow (if it did.)

This is also indicative of the protective ability of Eldar-grade mesh armor (and likely Carapace and power armor and all other "betteR" armors.)

Page 45
Already neurotoxin darts from her needle pistol were causing two of them to convulse. Their muscles tugged every which way. Their internal organs waged war on their own liquefying tissue. Their brains were a-crackle with short circuits.
Already bursts of laser energy from her other pistol had melted the leering eyes and features of the other two Flowers-

Two of its targets were already dead on their feet. The other two might still have some residual life in their scorch-blasted skulls.

Nevertheless, Emperor's Mercy blew three of the renegade Defence Force men apart. The stink of blood and guts, toasted flesh and excrement mingled with the nitric tang of burned propellant.

Jaq's armour had relaxed across his chest.
Lots of calcing stuff. First, the bolter blows apart 3 individuals, which suggests roughly grenade like yields (see bolter firepower thread).

The more complicated bit was the lasgun. Laspistol "melted the eyes and features" and "scoch-blasted skulls", which is indicative that at least part of the head was actually damaged (most of the face, and some depth behind, at least part of the brain perhaps.) We might estimate a kilogram or two of organic mass affected.

Melting temperature is discussed here, which is one of several sources I've uncovered (and will eventually factor into the lasgun analysis), but sufficed to say it pretty much meshes up with searing and cauterizing temps. Sufficed to say, I'll still use boiling (or to be more conservative, estimate third degree burns lol) for thermal effects. Searing (as previously discussed) would be roughly comparable to at least the low end of lasgun damage. And regardless, you can call it hundreds of kilojoules easily for the amount of mass specified (say 300-500 kj is a good estimate, but could be higher if you go with the 300C+ temps which would be around a megajoule or so) delivered over no more than a second or two (in other words no more than a few shots.)

Damage is also mainly thermal - little or no mechanical damage observed, so I won't address mechanical type damage.

Lastly, duration... probably not much more than a second or two for Jaq's armor to relax or for the needlers darts to do their job. Jaq fires 3 times, which would take about a second or two for a trained guy (eps with a low-recoil weapon).

Page 45 - Jaq manages to fire off four shots from his bolt weapon before the mesh armour relaxes (about a second or so I'd guess.)

Also Jaq's mesh armour is of eldar manufacture, which fits with what I said above.

Page 46
Needn't be quite so noisy, a boltgun. Bolts ignited after being ejected from the muzzle. Arguably the gun could simply say pop-SWOOSH-thud-CRUMP. And not RARRK as well. Nolise was part of its impact, part of its message of shock and death.

Description of the boltgun, Ian Watson's pretty much trademark description, minus teh ejeaculation bit. Indicates bolt guns 9or at least Jaq's) is noisy on purpose.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

Next update for Harlequin.... more astropathy... more calcy stuff..

Page 47
Then a sniper had shot the officer with a laser-guided toxic dart.
Another needle weapon, firing a "laser guided" dart.

Page 60
could a person read cards in an aparttment shielded by psycurium? Cut off from the psychic flux? Or at least protected from evil consequences? Jaq could read his own cards when aboard Tormentum Malorum, shielded from the daemons of the warp.
This tends to hint that materials and powers/symbols/etc that "block" warp entities may behave as some kind of filter or 'one way' effect. Things might get out (or in in the caes oa filter) but other things can't get in (or out, again WRT filtering.) Personally, I go for the filter idea.

Page 61
From the wrecked doorway of the polluted shrine the autoguns of Grimm's cronies erupted. Caseless ceramic shot flew along the Lane of Loveliness at high velocity.

Several cultists fell, ripped by shot.
autoguns again firing caseless shot. Its interesting that they are ceramic rather than lead or metal rounds. Presumably these are "anti-personnel" weapons, designed to fragment against the target and create bigger and messier wounds (at the expense of penetrative ability, especially against armor.) It might also be a lighter round (and thus have higher velocity).

The fact the cultits are "ripped" by the shots would suggest it might indeed be some sort of fragmenting round.

Page 62
Numerous onrushing cultists survived - almost as if they were protected by auras of invulnerability. Bullets and scattershot were twanging off the creamic portal, impacting in the dagnling door, winging through into the interior of the shrine.
If anyone wore an aura of invulnerability it was she.
Dunno where the scattershot is from (different kind of autogun ammo?), but here we have an exmaple of sorcerous powers (or just uncontrolled psychic ones) providing a shielding effect against gunfire. It does not seem so much as a physical shield though, more of a kind of "luck" shield (manipulating probabilities to reduce odds of being hit.) And the effect seems to be transmittable to minions, or at least one that the one providing the ability is attached to. This probably helps explain (A bit) why Cultists can actually make human wave tactics workable (aside from their vast numbers, their insanity, their disregard for life, and the fact they often become mutated.)

Page 62
Several bullets smshed into Jaq, ripping his habit, stiffening his mesh armour.
Regular gunfire, like the shotgun slugs, fail to penetrate the Eldar mesh armour. Guardians must be pretty damn well protected agianst solid projectiles.

Page 66

- Arbites troops using long-barreled lasguns with under-slung grenade launchers (krak in this case). This is before they became as we know them and the shotgun was their trademark. This isnt neccesarily inconsistent though, one would expect Arbites to be skilled with all kinds of weapons and to use what might work best (Arbites snipers will use long las, for example.) A lasgun likely has far greater range and accuray than an autoweapon or a shotgun.

Page 67
Soon would come the sweet soft hiss of the cannon's [thermal cannon] beam superheating the air in its path. Sheets of plasteel would begin to melt and slump. If any rebels exposed themselves, what a roar would arise as their bodily fluids suddenly vaporized.
Meltaweapon basically, despite being called a thermal cannon. Suggests triple digit MJ effects, over however long the duration is.

Page 67
The autocannons were much more pristine. Their long barrels sported rows of vanes to radiate away the heat of rapid firing, vanes like the backplades of some saurian predator. Muzzles protruded from fanged mouths wrought of plasteel.
Autocannons mounted on a tracked vehicle.

Page 73

- according to the Navigator Jaq recruits (Azul Petrov IIRC - tioo lazy to look up the name), there are a "thousand billion" suns in the galaxy. This may or may not be true, and this doesnt mean there are that many systems, but I still thought it worth commenting on.

Page 82 -
A laser beam had cut the trhoat of one of the guards. He burbled quietly, choking on blood.
Meh'Lindi's digital laser "slices the throat" of a guard, who bleeds from the wound. No cauterization or explosive effects, in this case. (We see it used later on). digital weapons do not have power output settings (they're always single shot), but it is possible that either this shot had to penetrate armor (and was weakened) or the weapon has settings for piercing/cutting sustained attacks as wella s more "explosive" attacks (hinted at later on)

Page 84
To nourish the Emperor's soul many hundreds of bright young psychic lads and lasses each day surrendered their vital essence and their lives, consumed to feed His supreme yet lacerated spirit forever on psychic overwatch.
- according to Jaq here, hundreds of young psykers sacrifice themselves each day to the GeoM.

Page 85
Grimm lasered the officer through a tear-stained eye. Let the intense heat burn away the man's grief.
No idea of exact effects aside form the fact its a lethal shot and it penetrates deeply, but its worth noting that here its hinted at damage being mostly thermal (so it might be like Moma parsheen or the aforementioned guards) and it does reinforce some of my calcs. His skull odesnt seem to explode, which may tell us something.

Page 87
The fuel which had been pumped on board a century earlier at that dockyard orbiting the fourrth world of the red dwarf star, bendercoot, ,was three-fifths gone. IF any safe reserve were to remain, the ship only now held enough for a few short warp jumps once the jump-zone was reached, or for a single medium war jump.
Jaq's ship needs a fuel supply. Clearly, he's not running a plasma reactor.

It's also interesting to note that apparently power and fuel supply have impacts on the effective range of starships (at least single starships. Fleets might be different.) Whether this has to do with opening the warp portals (as in how many portals you can open.), or in having to compnesate or propel yourself through the warp (or to keep from being overwhlemed, tossed about, or drifted off course), or both is debatable. Either is equally possible (since depending on navigation and distance you may need to drop out to regain bearings, for example.)

Page 89
On the fourth day of their outward voyage, Jaq had come upon Fennix secluded with Azul Petrov in an obsidian cell of stasis boxes.
At least 4 days to reach the outer reaches of the system. At a distance of 20 AU it would be 10 gees. 20 gees at 40 AU.

Page 89

- Petrov shows Fennix his warp eye. The Blind Astropath is not harmed. Whether it is because he cannot see or he is protected in some way (psychic power) I don't know. We know that some daemons at least can look inot a warp eye without ill effect.

Page 90
The astropath's nearsense allowed him to discern the flavour and aura silhouettes of jaq and Grimm and Meh'Lindi.
Fennix could also detect Meh'lindi's genestealer implants. This gives us an indication of how astropathic "near-senses" work, and possibly hints at forms of "psychic" sensors 40K might have.

Page 93
The task took Fennix almost three months. Daily he honed his telepathic sense and eavesdropped until he was exhausted.

Such a swarm of messages to attue eto, upon some many wavelengths of thought. Swarm upon swarm. commercial messages, and military and bureaucratic and theological. Streams of data. Requests, decrees, and proclamations.

Messages of hope and horror, desperate appeals..

It was, so he said, as though at every moment, a million lights were shining into a vast mirror, as though a million glittering pebbles were forever being tossed upon a bottomless lake, radiating a shimmer of ripples.

To aim or receive a particular message, to establish a mutal mind-to-mind link, was simplicity compared with this godly overwatch which he was undertaking.

A mere twelve weeks almost semeed miraculously short a span a of time - a tribute to Fennix's esoteric concept of astral telepathy.
A bit of a look into astropathic messaging and their psychic observations:

- Messages can occupy many "wavelengths" of thought, and you get all sorts of messages. It also seems to be that the Imperium's message activity is both enormous and constant. The implication is also that it is quite rapid, givne the short timeframe (months to cross large portions of the galaxy, since Fennix is supposed to be eavesdropping for important information.) - millions of c propogation speeds likely. The fact that "mind to mind" links ar ementioned do also hint at rapid propogation (at least over certain distances).

This also suggests at a much greater "connectivity" between worlds of the Imperium, even allowing for "lag" in message reception over long distances.

It also suggests astropathic signals can be "aimed" as well as presumably being omindirectional. This may influence speed and other factors too, but it makes sense.

- Fennix is able to sense "million" lights.. presumably representing the worlds of the Imperium. The "lights" one assumes represents the souls/spirits of the inhabitants of such planets. Although it does bring to mind how he can see them but others (EG daemons) can't. One possibility is that, as an astorpath, he is bonded ot the Emperor, who (as we are told) "protects" his subjects from daemons. If we think of that protection as a form of camoflage (for the astorpath as well as the servants) then it makes sense why fennix can see them.

It does also suggest that it is possible for Astorpaths to "see" human spirits, and possibly navigate by them. Although Fennix's abilities in this case seem to be attributed more to his mindset than truth, but once an ability is known to exist, its not impossible. Perhaps the "souls" of planetary inhabitants serves as a useful reference point at shorter ranges (IE inter-sector warp travel)
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Cykeisme »

Awesome work as always, Connor, still reading through your post.

Just wanted to point out something though, about the bit on page 82 where a digital laser is used to slice a guard's throat..
Meh'Lindi's digital laser "slices the throat" of a guard, who bleeds from the wound. No cauterization or explosive effects, in this case.
I believe the carotid arteries are quite large and have blood flowing through them at quite a high pressure, and if sliced, would spurt blood regardless of whether there's a cauterizing effect on the artery walls. Same goes with the jugular vein, to a lesser extent.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

Page 94
Disguised as drifting rocks, robot drones had been left behind to scrutinize that exterminated world. These had reported that alien ships were appearing in the vicinity. Eldar vessels.


What attracted the Eldar to a totally devastated world where even the air had all burned in a planet-wide inferno of firegas begotten from the rot cuased by the life-eater virus?
"Robot drones" used in space to observe the destroyed Stalinvast. Its implied the air is gone (Transformed or consumed in the conflagration). This may suggest the "yield" of a life eater is in excess of the e25-e26 joule range, although that depends on how the air is "burned up" relaly.

Page 99
Let Whirlstar not be thousands of light-years and weeks of warp travel distant-
"Thousands of light years" and "weeks" is between 20,000-30,000c and 200,000-300,000c or so.

Page 99
A week later Tormentum Malorum was falling down the gentle gravity gradient within the inner haven of the Whirlstar system.
- the travel only took a week, and the distance was only a "fraction of immensity

Page 100

- mention of "Nano-orgs", photophagic microbes in the sands that manufactured oxygen and nitrogen through some unknown process of transmuting the elements. The creatures predate human settlement and had been placed there by creatures unknown in order to make the planet habitable. I believe its implied these are an Eldar construct.

Page 100
Here and there on the world, great enigmatic buildings sprawled, of sand bonded molecularly, tough as adamantium, their vast internal spaces braced with arches.
Oh god, structural integrity fields used for building materials.

Mind you "molceularly bonded" armor is sort of a sci fi super-armor magitech concept (I'm thinking of the "molecularly bonded armor" from Star Wars), which implies extremely utlra dense/strong materials, which we know Adamantium is. Its a useful analogy I suppose.

Page 104
He confessed that he had poured the veritas into the fuel expansion basin, from which it had trickled to mix with the octanes.
This rather amusingly implies the fuel supply that Jaq's ship uses might be some sort of chemical fuel. Seriously, its not implausible for a small craft. We know that some small craft run on Promethium, which is a very high energy density fuel.

Page 104-106
whatever in all the worlds was an 'Illuminatus?'
"Carnelian was a psyker who was possessed," gabbled Grim "but he managed to throw off his possession through his own willpower and with the help of some eldar Harlequins-"
"-as well as by the grace of the Numen!"
The Numen? what was that?
Grimm shrieked, "The shining path! It's a forcec for goodnes and strength that will congeal one day into a power."
Another daemonic god!
"No, it'll be a radiant Power, boss, I swear, but its only a foetal thing now, trying to grgow, so Carnelian says, and it's the opposite of what'll happen if Homo Sap goes crash, and the opposite of what went wrong for the eldar, I think, though I'm not too sure, but Slaanesh is what wetn wrong with the eldar 'cos they were too snooty and sensual and got themselves addicted to all sorts of lusts-"

...'cos Rogue Illmuniati are in control of the hdra caper, and inquisitors are mixed up in it, like we know, and they gotta be disrupted.
"Yeah, so you see the Illuminati are immune to powers of the warp, so they can manipulate warp energy safely, that's how they brought the hydra into existence, I mean that's how the rogue Illuminati did it, hoping to mind-fuse everyone in the galaxty some day and even tame Chaos and enslave it, but they're wrong about that 'cos then the Numen will never be born and the shining path will never shine, and what'll happen'll be the awakening of the fifth great Chaos god out of humanity's torment, that's what terrifies the eldar, says Carnelian, 'cos they know what it was like last time, when Slaanesh awoke, but this'll be worse, this'll be the end, there won't just be the eye of Terror bleeidng corruption into the galaxy but the whole galaxy will become Chaos from end to end, and what other Il;luminati like Carnelian are striving for is for the Numen to be born instead. How's that to come about, you may be asking, ,why it's by finding and protecting all the Emperor's Sons what he conceived long ago long before his carcass got stuckinside the golden throne-"


"-'cos these Sons are immortal but they don't none of them know who their dad was, oh my anceestors-"
"Take Care!"
"And neither does his carcass know anything about them 'cos they're psychic blanks, which is how they've been able to hide out for so long-"
- the Illuminati - psykers who were possessed and through their own actions (or the help of others, mainly eldar as we learn later) they threw off their warp possession.
"-that[s even though your blessed Inquisition hunts the Sons down, 'cos your inquisitors think the Emperor's Sons are just sinister mutatnts, so do the Sons themselves, but the Illuminati are seekign them out too and enlightening them, so that the Sons can join a special order of knights. The Illuminati call the wised-up Sons sensei, and these sensei are all becoming part of a long watch of knights who'll intervene when the Emperor finally succumbs and Chaos tries to flood in, then I think they'll take over from the Emperor because they all have His gene-runes in them, even though the Sons themselves are sterile, so you see there are all these offshoots of your Emperor scattered around the galaxy, that ain't all, 'cos when your Emperor fought the Chaos armies of Horus all those thousands of years ago before He was crippled in victory and put in His golden throne the only way He could win was to renounce all His soft tender feelings and purge these out into the psychoflux, into the warp, I mean, and these lost partts of Him are whats trrying to come together as the Numen, to bring us the shining path, that's what the sensei knights will summon into being for salvation when the Emperor finally flakes it-"
This rather lengthy passage discourses on that 1st/2nd edition theme we know of as the "Star child and Sensei" and the Illuminati.

Also mention of the Numen a Force for goodness described as the "shining path" that will one day form into a challenge to the Chaos gods (and a replacement for the GEoM, supposedly.) Supposedly its the antithesis of a Chaos god (If humanity falls the way the Eldar did, a fifth Chaos God will arise, ,and the galaxy if not the cosmos, will be swamped in Chaos.)

Further, rogue Illuminati, workign with co-opted Inquisitors, were behind the creation and implementation of the Hydra project.

The Illuminati are reputedly immune to the warp, despite being able to still tap and employ it. Supposedly the Hydra is going to cause what the Eldar (and Illuminatus) hope to avoid - the creation of the fifth Chaos God, which is why CArnelian (the Harlequin man) is infiltrating the cabal. I suppose this is also supposed to explain why the GEoM is an unfeeling dick, but we know he was pretty dicky even before he got throned.

Also mention of the Emperor's "sons" and the sensei. Supposedly, the Emperor when still active sired a vast number of offspring who are immortal like him, but also psychic blanks (and undetectable to him.) The "Sons" are also sterile. These are evidently the same "mutants" the eternity project supposedly hunts down. Sensei are the "wised up" Sons, who are found and recruited (trained?) by the Illuminati, to become a sort of "order" who the Illuminati claim will intervene with the Emperor should he fall, by summoning the Numen. The Numen supposedly represents all the "soft" and 'tender" and human stuff that the Emperor purged out of himself (into the warp) to maintain his existence, and these parts are trying to be reborn as a new Power.

Supposedly corroborating this, Jaq recalls the story of "Captain Eternal, the wandering Inquisitor, ,other folk tales about mysterious (immortal) figures who appear and reappear over millenia.)

Lastly, we are told tht the Emperor must not learn of his Sons, lest he become lax in his vigilance and Chaos overwhelm them.

The awakening of the fifth Chaos god is interesting, since it suggests your average eldar is thousands (millions) of times more psychically sensitive than your average human, although this is admittedly conjectural.

Honestly, its up for debate whether or not this would be considered canonical. I know they tried retconning this all as a Chaos cult/plot by Tzeentch in 3rd edition, but that wasn't really definitive and it had some contrivances/plot holes in it, so ti could be argued this still (possibly) exists (knowing Tzeentch, its possible he is portraying the star child thing as one of his cult plans simply to prevent it from happening, or to fuck himself over, or for any number of reasons..)

Page 109
A flechette had impacted in the back of Grimm's flak jacket, and had torn through the reinforcing metal fibres. Momentum and spin had been lost, but the dart's point pricked Grimm's back irritatingly. He fumbled fover his shoulder for the s haft. Lucky shot, or duff part of the jacket.
Handbow flechettes. Presumably the force is comparable to a crossbow bolt. Using this as a benchmark - 330 fps with a 350 grain shaft or 100 mps with a 23 gram arrow you get 2.3 kg*m/s of momentum. Remember though its also a sharp (pointed) object. THat does make a difference.

(By comparison, modern flechettes exist that can have less than 1 kg*m/s worth of momemntum as opposed to 3-7 kg*m/s for rifle bullets, yet can still penetrate.) I have seen velocities up to 400 fps, and mention of bolts at 400+ grains. Its also only covering hunting crossbows. While I can't find any hard data I know longbows of the medeviel period had MUCH heavier arrows which created lots of momentum despite the low velocities (compared to modern) so its quite possible for the momentum to be higher.

What I find interesting is that a.) This flak has metal fibres woven in b.) apparently has no "hard" components to it (unlike CAdian armor) and still managed to almost completely stop the flechette despite being noted as being either luck or a weak point in the jacket, which says alot about its durability. Admittedly, this is Squat flak which could be better, but as a rule its probably not vastly better than what the Guard has, so it gives us another useful benchmark of the properties of flak against physical impacts.

Page 111
- sand pillars two kilometers high, as wide as the Tormentum Malorum is long, and composed of sand that is bonded together by some unknown alien energy field.

Page 111
Within Overawe, there appeared to be a peculiar etiquette to weaponry. Flechettes were acceptable. Handbows. Shuriken pistols. Weapons which fired darts or discs which spun swiftly just as the planet itself spun, and as its sun spun. Noisy explosive weaponry semeed to be taboo, as if violent shocks might disrupt the molecular bonds of the pillars and the vast roof.
Shuriken weapons are implied to behave similarly to crossbow flechette weapons, and that they have a rotational component to their overall energy as well as a "linear" one. It does imply that velocity of the shuriken weapons might be similar to Handbows, but slower than other projectile weapons. Which would make them rather short ranged with probably low-mass ammo/

Page 117

- Meh'lindi can block out pain via willpower even whilst being dissected - enough so to kill at least.

Page 117
Tutting at his disrespect, Meh'lindi idly relieved him of the gun. suddenly she fired a bolt, then another, and a third into the Calldius agent. The man was thrown backwards upon the rubble, already dying frfom internal explosions.
- 3 or 4 bolt rounds to kill a Callidus agent (like Meh'lindi),t hough they don't blow the guy apart. Internal augmentations? Dermal armor?

Page 121
Under the two-kilometre high vault of vast Sandhouse, Jared Kahn's (or rather, Ziz's) citadel sprawled upwards for half a kilometer and more of brick-clad plasteel canted against a pillar and partly enclosing it.

Was that substance not plasteel, after all, but adamantium? Difficult to tell in the crepuscular gloom. The towering half-cone of the edifice could probably resist the attnetion of a battle cannon.
resistance of admaanitum/plasteel construction ot battle cannon fire. As well as dimensions.

Page 122

- Dreadnought (Space marine formerly) twice as tall as Meh'Lindi.

Page 123
The other arm sported an assault cannon with six separate rotatable barrels which might spit huundreds of shells every second.
- Assault cannon (six barreled) can spit huundreds of shells every second, (duh) Assuming equal energy/momentum to a 5.56 NATO round it would be 340 kj and 700 kg*m/s of momentum. If its a 7.62mm NATO round the KE would be easily over 600 kj and momentum 1700 kg*m/s easily.

Page 124

- Rejuventation can cause (at least partial) amnesia.

Page 131
In stasis tureens there awaited compatible pseudoflesh and synthmusclefibre and nervewires to replace what must be removed,; and toothpulp and elastic dentine.
This sorta stuff got mentioned in "Space Marine" too.. pre-augmetic replacement technology. We might consider this to be "high end" examples.. or the really sophisticatd augmetic tech that the Impeirum would have (its still artificial)

Page 135

- the departure from Whirlstar to the jump point took at least ofur days. This seems likely given the next morning they reach the point.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

Next Harlequin update...

Page 139
A line of five-lobed windows revealed, a kilometre below, the starlit deck of the battleship. Like some broad gargantuan spear-blade, this deck jutted fully four kilometres into space. Moored halfway along it, the Fists' own troopship seemed lost amidst the battleship's cobra attack cruisers.
Gothic class Battleship described in size and dimensions. They were already mentioned in Space Marine of course, as I covered earlier. Context wise this implies the ships are at least 4 km long, whereas Eye of Terror implied 4 miles. In context I am leaning towards Eye of Terror's figures since the bigger ones are easier to reconcile with Watson's stuff.
Note the mention of "cobra attack cruisers" - the early edition cobras behaved more like fighters/sublight attack ships (like Weberverse parasites) than actual independent destroyers. hile they probably are not cobras as we know them, they may still exist in some form - think of them as simply being really really big fighters is all.

Page 140
- Lexandro, the survivign main character from Space Marine is still an obsessive masochist. That is all.

Page 141
Recently, the Terror Tigers had suffered a dire mauling in an attack by a mutant warlord upon their monastery world. Unlike the
Fists, the Tigers were land-based. The Tigers had lost almost a quarter of their Chapter before eventual victory. Almost two-andhalf
companies destroyed! The Tigers' commander had decreed his own execution without honour.
- Unlike Imperial Fists, the Terror Tigers chapter of Space MArines is "land-based." Presumably this means that the Terror Tigers have their own homeworld, whereas the Fists have a space-based (and mobile) fortress monastery.
Also, the Chapter Master is an idiot.

Page 142
All they had were the mammoth armour-skinned beasts native to Hannibals jungles, beasts towering ten metres high on legs each as thick as the truk of the stoutest tree.
..beasts which were the zoological equivalent of Titans manufactured by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
..there had come that ship of the Terror Tigers, bringing knights in power armour...
- ten metre tall beasts compared to titans (possibly indicating how tall smaller titans may be.) Also note Terror Tigers have ships, so "land based" can't refer to this. (Maybe it means they don't have a Fortress Monastary in space, that is mobile?)
Note that this isn't the first time such a Titan comparison was made either - there's a short story in Let the Galaxy Burn that also has similar. Its not really all that daunting, considering the nature of warp and mutation in 40K and stuff like the Tyranids in general. If an organic creature can fight a Titan, I believe it can happen. Nevermind Tyranid Biotitans...

Page 143
They would howl their amplified mind-shock, but the Space Marines' helmets incorporated psychic shielding. A wave of nausea was the usual consequencecse, disorienting but not disabling.
Howling banshees. Also of note is that the Fists (in this novel at least) had psychic shielding in their helmets (possibly psycirum or some sort of ward) that helped protect against the effects. I would hesitate to assume this is "standard" gear though.

Page 143
they dodged bolter fire as if foreknowing where an enemy would aim.
Implied that the Eldar aspect warriors had some generalized precog enabling them to evade gunfire. Since Eldar are latent psychics this is no surprise.

Page 144
Their power swords veered to the left, to right, to touch the speeding bolts and twitch them on their way. Co-ordinated laser pulses had incandesced upon the paudlron protecting Lexandro's left shoulder. the doubled energy blast bored inward searingly. Briefly, he tasted the spice of pain. Diagnostic icons flickered on the readout projected within his visor. The injury was minor, a ternder caress of combat.
twin eldar laspistol pulses manage to penetrate the shoulder armor of the First armor. Assuming a 2 cm diameter hole and at least an inch tick armor, silicon compositon and vaporization.. 22 grams of silicon... maybe 28 grams depending on density.. 291-371 kilojoules at least.. but probably half that for each pulse. That said, there's no saying the shoulder pauldrons are as thick as the chest plates.. they Pauldrons are meant as extra armor, after all.. so they may be several inches thicker..

Page 145
Truly Lex had forgotten about females of his own species - who were just as alien to him. Ach, of course he had seen womenfolk
since entering his fortress-monastery. He had killed some, but never come so close to one. Servitors who had dwelled for
generations aboard the fortress-monastery necessarily included females to generate more servitors. But those were beneath a Fist's
- the Fists evidently keep around "female Servitors" to generate more "Servitors" I'm wondering if this term refers more to the "Chapter Serfs" you hear about rather than the cyborg "Servitors", though. The mindless variety that is. On the other hand, it is possible the serivtors are cyborgs and intelligent (like intelligent robots)

PAge 145
Lex willed the optic sensors in his visor into telescopic mode.
- Space Marine visors have optic/telescopic functions.

Page 145
Banshee-bitches were streaming towards teh ship, and towards the cordon too. The aliens would block the path of missiles for about another thirty seconds.
30 seconds to effective range for Dark Reaper weapons.

Page 146
With bulky gauntlet, Lex deftly drew the catch on his gun to deactivate the regular firing mechanism. His manipulation was fastidious, as befitted a Fist who could engrave miniscule scrimshaws upon a dead battle-brother's fingerbones.
Now that the auxiliary grenade tubes were primed, the guns could no longer fire bolts.
- Imperial Fist bolters carry a grenade-launcher mode apparently - they have to be switched over from firing the bolter shells, though, which seems a brief operation.

Page 146
Unimpeded now by jungle, already Lex's company had covered half the terrain between themselves and the retreating banshees.
- the Fists cover "half the distance" between themselves and the Banshees before firing the grenades. They fire and hit just before the Eldar can fire rocket launchers back. Eldar armour isn't as fully-enclosed as Space Marine, and thus more vulnerable to fragmentation damage.`
it was noted on page 145 that the Dark Reapers are 30 seconds from firing, and on page 146 that Lex only has a few seconds to make a decision. Later the Fists use the Reapers own missiles

If the range is at least the 500 meters below and "half the distance" is 250 meters.. giving a possible lower limit on the bolter grenade launcher.
At 30 seconds the howling banshees covered at leeast 300 meters in 30-40 seconds, for a movement speed of 7-10 mps.

Page 147
Superheated gases began to billow rom the vents of the fish-ship - roasting the dead and dying, surging against the Fists' battle suits, harmlessly as et. Some crew members inside the ship were about to boost it away frrom this place of disaster.
He and his sergeants withdrew to five hundred metres form the ship.


As the fish-ship rose on a surging tail of heat, Kempkla and Lex and Sergeant Kurtz raised their launchers. Ther ship was fifty metres aloft. A hundred. It was beginning to speed up.
- First space marine armor is relatively immune to the superheated gasses of a Eldar ship preparing to launch (vents) that "roast" the dead and dying (implied double digit MJ outputs) The Fists retrieve rocket launchers and retreat to "five hundred meters" from the ship.
Dark Reaper missiles are powerful enough to shoot down a small starship.

Page 149
With his enahnced musculature and ceramically reinforced bones Lex massed twice the bulk of Baal Firenze.
- Lexandro D'Arquebus, Space MArine Imperial Fists captain, is stated to bulk twice as much as the Inquisitor Baal Firenze, due to his enhanced musculature and ceramically reinforced bones. If Firenze masses 80 kg, Lex masses around 150-160 kg.

Page 150
Blithely Firenze continued: "The alien construction in question will be hosting a baleful festival. Children often attend a festival. Do not hesitate to destroy the spawn of the eldar, who are already a dying race!"

Librarian Kempka had stiffened, and Lex felt a squirm in the guts. Why should this inquisitor refer to the annihilation fo alien brats as if the pre-echo of their screams were a personal hymn of devotion? As if anticipation of their burning ashses were a kind of incense in his virtueherb-plugged nostril. LEx had certainly once participated in the eradication ad ultimum foetum of a rebellious governor's family. On that occasion the killing of the whelps had been a vital necessity. Where was the urgent necessity here, amongst so many more pressing matters? Simply to demoralise? What a waste of the precious time of the Marines!

A Space Marine was a warrior of honour. He was the cutting edge of the Emperor's sword of valour. Where was the dignity in slaughtering defenceless juveniles? To be a superhuman Space Marine was the most virtuous of destinies. To scourge and rebels and aliens with death. And to suffer in so doing.
Its rather interesting to note here that Lex considers it dishonorable to be ordered to destroy Eldar children. As contrasted with other chapters like the Black Templars.. who probably would do it at the drop of a hat.

PAge 151
It implied that if need be, this battleship, Imperial Power, and those two other combat cathedrals visible in the void nearby were... expendable. Sacrificable, along with their tens of thousands of engineers and officers and pilots and gun crews and servitors.
- gothic class batlteships have "tens of thousands" of "engineers, officers, pilots and gun crews and servitors." - no mention of naval ratings, though. Note that Inquisitor Firenze feels perfectly justified in sacrificing two Gothic battleships and an Ironclad for his own ends (which are, in the scope of things, not that important. ) Indeed, the Space Marines seem to be considered more important. This may imply something about the relative abundance of such vessels in the Imperium (Gothic Battleships weren't that big as battleships go, rather on the low end of the scale), but it may also simply reflect Firenze being a fanatical loon.

Page 154 -
Beneath the soft-seeming terraces of viridian moss was the quasi-living skeleton, stronger than adamantium, which had grown outward from the initial core of this habitat. Akin to a craftworld - although of lesser size - this habitat boasted no vast sails to propel it slowly through the void on a fail plasma breeze of its own production.
The Eldar constructed this habitat sometime between the destrsuction of Stalinvast and this book. May give hints about construction rates on their ships.

As for the "plasma breeze" stuff.. frankly I dont even know how to expalin that, aside from some sort of reaction drive. There's no way the habitat could propel itself via sails on a breeze it itself made... And to be even worse it quasi-violates hints about the sails made in the third novel.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

Next update in my ongoing distortion of true 40K canon... :D

Page 154
The entire land surfacee of that world, beneath a veil of storm-blown ashes, was scoured rock and cinder desert. Its seas were poisonous sludge. Former cities would resemble dead shattered coral, if indeed any cities had outlasted the worldwide firestorm of exploding rot-gas. Not a microbe would be alive. Even the life-eater virus would finally have consumed itself.
Reference to the effects of the Virus bombing - note teh "global firestorm" reference and the reference of "cinder" (as in ash) implying sterilization level energies (tens of billions megatons)
Page 156
You would need to climb one of the space-spires and peer through a lens to see, as yet, the light of plasma torches which were propelling Imperial battleships inward towards Stalinvast from the jump zone. In two more days these titanic fighting ships would be closer.
- Imperial Battleships are traveling towards Stalinvast from the warp emergence point, and would arrive in two more days. That implies it takes at least two days to arrive at the target, though its implied in the text it may not be much more than that (but not given) Assuming 10 AU distance and 2 days, it would be about 20 gees, and 80 gees at 40 AU.
Page 157-158
Whereas, some thread of hope remained for the human race. If only the hydra scheme could be aborted. If only enough of the Emperor's Sons could be sacrificecd to Him-On-Earth, in the moment of His demise, to bring itno existencec the redemptive Numen rather than a ravaging Chaos god.
All those innocent sensei... Oh, that seductive illusion of a long watch of knights pending the ultimate psychic battle. Despite their immortality , the sensei were oblivious to so much.
Principally, they wer einnocent of how the Illuminati, out of necessity, intended to immolate the Sons on the mind-altar from which tne Numen would arise.
The Eldar and Illuminati intend to sacrifice the Emperor's Sons/Sensei at the moment of his death to awaken the Numen ("immolate them on a mind altar'). But they keep this form the Sensei. The Eldar are "good" guys but still dicks for doing this. Then again we've known that the Eldar dont give a fuck about humanity really (Third Armageddon war and all that.)
Page 159
The Eldar webaway linked craftworlds and a multitude of natural planets as well as unnatural places which were closed off by powerful prohibitions and psychic seals. As a priveleged initiate, Zephro and other Illuminati had learned to traverse at least some of the labyrinthine webway, so as to search for the Emperor's Sons, and to bring confusion and grief to inquisitors who huhnted for thsoe mutants, and to try to foil the extremist cabal of Illuminati who were fostering the hydra plan to melt the massed minds of humanity.
At certain rare intersections in the webway, time itself slowed or was even annulled. Travellers could be trapped in stasis. A forewarned psyker could pass safely through these nodes - or he might choose to linger, while in the ordinary universe a year flew by, or a decade or even a century. The Theory of Uigebealach, the philosophy of the webway, hinted at the necesssary existence of one particular node where time actually flowed backwards. The Great Harlequins who wandered the webway, and who alone knew the location of the Black Library, had undoubtably searched for that crossroads.
some fo the Illuminati know how to traverse some of the webway, as part of their tasks in collecting the Sons and in screwing with the Inquisition, and to stop the hydra cabal. Some sections of the webway are called "crssroads of Inertia" - places of basically stasis that could trap unwary travllers (psychics, like Eldar or Illuminati, can avoid this.) whereas others can use them to preserve themselves while time in the real universes passes. Some history hints at a place in the webway where time supposedly flows backwards - and that the Harlequins searched for it (hoping, perhaps, to undo the coming of Slaanesh - or so Zephro thinks.)
This is of course not the first time the Eldar have allowed humans access to the webway - they did so in the Gothic War as well.
Page 161
From time to time, UIthwe's domes and spires and keel were damaged by ferocious onslaughts of Chaos minions. Even so, wraithbone slowly regenerated itself. Ulthwe was quasi-living. Within the infinity circuit of its wraithbone structure were all the souls of bygone inhabitants.
- Wraithbone slowly regenerates over time. Its worth noting that while this is not mentioned in game rules (probably a balance issue) this affords the Eldar a sort of "self repair" capability akin to what Tyranids probably can do (but not nearly as fast.) Likewise, being a highly psychic race (including telekinesis) and given that much of Eldar tech (including the Wriathbone) has psychic elements to it, it seems inconceivable that they do not possess forcefield defences/shields of any kind. Especially since some eldar ground vehicles do (which functions as a kind of intangible armor/structural reinforcement.)

Page 165
As the fiend flicked out its tongue and began to swing its tail, minuscule needles sprayed from the mandibles. A flash of light - and plasma was boiling where the slivers had impacted. The fiend's horned head was ripped open.
Mandiblaster on (If I remember correctly) daemonic being and blows the head apart (via explosively vaporizing/plasmatizing the needles). Could be equal to a couple of grams of TNT (going by the Mythbusters ep with the james bond exploding pen I mention in the bolter analysis thread) or compared to the energy needed to make a 4 cm diameter hole with a laser.

Page 167
Zephro dived for the shuriken pistol dropped by a slaughtered Scorpion. He fired at a devotee, lacerating the man's sword-arm to scarlet ribbons, the dangling streamers of a toxic jellyfish.[
Shuriken weapon on a chaos cultist's arm. Basically shreds it to tiny pieces. Damage is likely due cutting/slicing effect of the shurikens rather than explosive/impact damage (think flechette weapon)
Page 171
A battle in space is largely invisible, as well as silent On battle-screens, aglow with icons generated by devoutly anointed cogitator machines relying on radar and deep-scannings, the ebb and flow of conflict is generally comprehensible.
Not so comprehensible for the majority of participants.
The speed of ships and the vast volume of void in which they manoeuvre frequently makes an engagement between whole fleets appear to be a matter of isolated spasmodic duels interspersed by vast longueurs. The unique blend of terror and tedium could sometimes cause gunners to fire at phantoms of the imagination; they would be punished by induced pain - though leniently, since gunners in their armoured flash-gauntlets and their boom-hoods were respected sepcialists.
Perhaps to be punished thus was preferable to the stress of awaiting a breathless excruciating demise which might come now or never.
Another description of space combat. Note the mention of "radar" as well as "deep scanning" whatever tha tis. Its implied combat frequently occurs at "beyond visual range" which with multi mile ships can be many tens of thousands of kilometers easily (consistent with Battlefleet Gothic.) This does imply fairly high velocities (hundreds perhaps thousands of km/s). The bit about the gunners is interesting too.
page 172
Thousands of men immured in engine halls or galleys or repair shops or arsenals might have had little idea that any engagement was even taking place - until, perhaps, death deeply breached part of the hull in their vicinity.
Thousands of crewmen, mention of repair shops onboard, a trait that remains largely true into Battlefleet Gothic as well.
Page 172
Those aboard Tormentum Malorum scrutinized screens for hours. Fennix eavesdropped on the astropaths aboard the battleships. Meh'lindi scanned through the vox traffic.
Periodically, Jaq stared through a magni-lens at remote flashes of light. Then he would swing the oculus towards the distant thin sickle of Stalinvast. Fromthis celestial angle, the pus-yellow sun scarcely lit one-tenth of the planet.
- the battle over Stalinvast lasted "hours" - the Imperials were toying largely with the Eldar (the battleships being a diversion remember), though the Eldar were doing their damndest to destroy the humans.

page 173
From the deck of a Gothic-class battleship Cobra destroyers had flown to engage several eldar wraithships. Though the Cobras could boost quickly and turn tightly, this squadron seemed disinclined to push to the utmost - whilst wraithships could tack with such bird-like elegance, flexing the solar sails on their towering bone masts.
- Cobra class "Destroyers" (sublight versions) deployed from the decks of a "Gothic class".. Comparison of cobra agility vs eldar wriathship.

Page 173
A Cobra's vortex torpedo ran beyond one wraithship before exploding. The explosion disrupted the very fabric of space. The wraithship yawed. Yet it wasn't drawn into the disruption. Laser pulses raced from a second Wriathship at the Cobra. Screens absorbed the energy. A third wraithship fired plasma cannons. THe Cobra's screen flared in apparent overload before dying. Had the generators not been properly blessed? Had the captain lowered the shields prematurely to bleed off the excess?
Cobra destroyers in "Space Fleet" had vortex torpedoes, and their effects ought to be predictable (all vortex weaponry remains the same). Eldar wriathship defenses had laser and plasma weapons. Note taht these shields also retain the old "Space Fleet" limitation of shields needing to be dropped before the shields could be "bled off"

Page 173
A great Imperial ironclad powered implacably towards a cluster of wraithships, shedding its flotilla of support vessels like chaff. Ordinarily these minnows would ransack neighbouring worlds and planetoids for ore or fuel. If they remained upon the ironclad's decks, many were certain to be destroyed.
The ironclad was an armoured mountain range of peaks and plateaux, as pitted and scarred by previous battles as a moon by meteor strikes. This ancient battleship possessed no screens. Giant plates of adamantium, tens of metres thick, were its protection - if not to those who manned its laser turrets and plasma cannons.
- an Ironclad sheds its "support vessels" - vessels that ordinarily raided planets for ore or fuel, rather than remain on deck. The ironclad is described as a "armoured mountain range of peaks and plateaux. It possessed no shields, but used plates of adamantium armour tens of metres thick, though the plasma cannon and laser turrets were not even remotely so well armoured (rather exposed, relatively speaking.) That places an upper limit on armor (at least of the Space Fleet era, but possibly BFG era as well). The support ships are probably similar to the Cobra destroyers (sublight parasites) but not neccesarily all combat craft.
Also note that turets and cannons (laser and plasma) are not as heavily armored as the hull. "mountain range" analogy implies multi-kilometre length.

Page 174
Its holoscreen was no energy shield, however. The ironclad loosed a massive broadside at the Shadowhunter. THe eldar vessel's masts and saiil disintegrated, though not the great shark of the hull.
Wraithships dispsersed as this armoured bull of planetoid size charged towards them, spewing superheated plasma from its rear.
- ironclad is described as "planetoid sized". Space Fleet Eldar, like their BFG cousins, are alleged to be unshielded, although as we know their ground vehicles and troops have access to personal shielding. the reason for t his difference (aside from game balance) is never explained.

Page 174
Tormentum Malorum was in stealth mode. Aboard the ship, for hours, it had been whisper time. The gravity generator was switched off. JAq had conjured an aura of protection, injecting his psychic power into the energy shields, willing invisibility. May their vessel be a blank to all observers and all instruments.
"Stealth mode" on Jaq's ship is boosted by his psychic ability. Its also implied that they do a "running silent" mode coupled with whatever the energy shields are (void shields, likely, given that Eldar are mentioned not to have "energy shields. It would make sense for Void shields to have EW properties as well). Turning off the gravity generator implies that Imperial ships can be detected by AG fields.
One may presume that psykers are used on all ships to boost stealth capabilities. The "effect" of this is probably psychically induced blindness or "ignoring' the stealthy ship. This implies the "energy shields" do something similar (at least in stealth mode.)

Page 175
Decoys spiralled through the emptiness, piloted by devout men of noble families and ancient tradition who had no ideas what their orders sognified in any wider scheme yet who would carry out those orders for the sake of their admiral and their heritage and out of utter commitment to His Divine Terribilitas on Terra and His representative, agent of His Inquisition.
Despite the flimsiness of the Emperor's hold upon so-called humans pace, despite the hundreds of thousands of worlds where His writ was merely nominal, the Imperium could still muster vastly many more machines and fighting men than the remnants of eldar civilization. Despite all ravages of war, humanity still bred faster than it died. The Imperium could afford to spend its currency of people.
- mention of "hundreds of thousands' of Imperial worlds where the Imperium's writ was considered 'nominal'. One would assume this is in addition to the million or more "loyal" worlds.
And once again we get the oft-stated fact the Imperium can out-attrition almost anyone.
Also interesting are the manned "decoy" ships. Are they simply manned shields to protect the bigger ships, or are they more than that? Do they provide EW like properties?

page 175
Co-ordinated laser and plasma fire from the eldar vessels seethed at the base of one of the battleship's spires. Metal boiled. Gas plumed stenrward, a comet's billiant tail. A shield amidships must have failed. Had the shield been lowered momentarily to spill energy? In this perilous moment were its operators taken unawares by death, and a generator destroyed?
The kilometre high spire of the combat-cathedral was fretted with gables and pinnacles, with lancets and cusps and baluutrades, with buttresses and trefoil tracery and crocketed turrets.
the spire snapped.

Like some vast ornate javelin it swung away from the course of the battleship. That jatvelin was heading towards a wraithship.[
- mention of a shield amidships on a Gothic-class battleship possibly being "lowered momentarily" to bleed off excess stored energy from the generators. In Battlefleet Gothic they do this pretty much automatically rather than it having to be done.
It is implied that the spire is around a kilometre long, but less than that may have snapped off.

Page 176
The adamanitum tip of the spire, and two hundred metres more of it, impaled the wraithship. Wraithbone ribs opened like those of a cooked fowl speared by a skewer. Sheer momentum carried the eldar vessel aside.
- the Eldar Wriathship sublight vessels are at least 200 meters long (larger than the adamantium spike broken off of a battleship that rams it, though the momentum of the impact pushes the vessel aside, so it masses less.)

Page 176 - metnion of ship-stored "power armour" for EVA action. again - the same stuff Jaq and his group used in the first book.

Page 177
- Mention of the "Cobrta class fighters" rather than destroyers.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

Was there a real reason why they retconed off the Gothic Class Battleship? What is it now actually? Retribution? Emperor?
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by andrewgpaul »

What was a Battleship in Spacefleet is now a Cruiser in Battlefleet Gothic. SF Cruisers became BFG Frigates, and the "Emperor Capital Ship" became a Battleship. You could try handwaving that Battlefleet Obscurus uses different terminology from Battlefleets Solar* and Ultima**, but Segmentum Solar vessels have been depicted in BFG now, which torpedoes that idea. :)

The Gothic-class Battleship is probably closest in concept to the Lunar-class cruiser in BFG (there is a Gothic-class cruiser, but it's a specialised lance ship, unlike the jack of all trades Lunar.

*The 'studio fleet' for Space Fleet was painted in the colours of Battlefleet Solar

** Gothic-class Battleshpis engaged the Hive Fleets in Space Marine.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Connor wrote:not sure what "permaparchment" is.
1.) Stalinvast is "lost" to the Imperium, indicating they have no real means of re-inhabiting it. Which is odd. While the existence of terraforming is rather inconsistently applied in the literature, by and large it doesnt' seem all that commonplace, yet they can make even uninhabitable worlds into livable by some measure (CF Tallarn, Krieg, or Valhalla - hell Hives are built on that.)
Maybe the method of Exterminatus, aside from using stuff like virus bombs and cyclonics, also used highly radioactive stuff that would've been impossible to decontaminate? Do virus bombs dissipate or linger in the environment after a time?
Signs of laxity were everywhere: in the continuing beautification of the cities with mosaics and fountains, in charity towards beggars, in the peace and prosperity of the planet, in regulartions for the benevolent conduct of brothels, in the ever rising standard of cuisine, in the abolition of laws allowing the torture of suspects, even in the pronounciation of the local dialect of Imperial Gothic.
It is a sign of laxity to regulate the benevolent conduct of brothels? :D

At least they think WHORING WHORES WHORES WHORES is a benevolent conduct! Hah!

So, this Inquisition War stuff is pretty good, huh? How's this Meh'Lindi character? Is she hot? :wink:
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

Next Harlequin update. Should be done soon. I'm getting impatient.

Page 179
Before the car quite vanished from sight Meh'lindi - no longer Mile'ionahd - had already fired her shuriken pistol at the guardian.
The hand which had held a lasgun disintegrated bloodily. Promptly the guardian damped the stump with his other hand, squeezing tight.
Shuriken pistol vs human hand - ie ie shreds it to itty bitty pieces very very rapidly.

Page 180
Blood had spattered both items. The eldar shut his eyes. He must be concentrating upon staunching the flow of blood by
Presumably he is doing this by some limited inborn psychic ability, or one taught to all warriors (which Eldar of this timeframe would all be, sine if you're not in an Aspect you'd be a Guardian.)

Page 181
Wraithbone. Psycho-responsive. The energy to propel the car came from the wraithbone itself. If he were eldar he would be choosing the car's route.
As noted elsewhere, the properties of Wraithbone seem to be used to transmit energy as well as a form of communication/interface device. (It may be a reactor, but from what I remember of 2nd edition it was more like a battery/capacitor or a power line. The infinity circuit was technically part of the "reactor".)

Page 186
Las-bolts lanced from the long-barreled guns of the fliers. Patches of turf vaporized around the Space Marine's great boots.
We don't know how big of "patches" this is, save that they obviously aren't big enough to risk the Space Marine falling in. Assuming a few centimeters hemispherical diameter (about the width of a laser beam by various sources - Cadian blood, 13th Legion, 1st Ghosts Omnibus, Dawn of War Novel, etc.) and the properties of silicon it would be double digit kilojoule (I got 50). larger "patches" produce larger values. If the patch is 6 cm in diameter (roughly fist sized) it might be near to or a bit more than a megajoule or so to vaporize.

Page 187
Another Harlequin jerked out his forearm, to which a tube was strapped. A similar wire lept almost a hundred metres towards a Space Marine. The wire was so fine as to be almost invisible. Yet its tip pierced some ancient weakness in the Marine's gauntlet. The warrior's whole arm hung limply,. inside the armour was there now only jelly?
Earlier when covering the wargear book some claimed I was exaggerating the abilities of the Harlequin's Kiss in stating it had a potential range of 100 meters (or therabouts, give or take a few meters) and that it was much shorter ranged - but here we go. This probably is what inspired me to make that conclusion in fact, since I know I read Harlequin before reading the Wargear stuff. So the stuff I said in regards to WArgear probably still applies to most pistol weapons (we know laspistols and bolt weapons can reach this range anyhow, and autopistols are basically a compact SMG as it is, and a sufficiently powerful stub pistol could in theory reach that far too - a .50 Magnum Desert Eagle has a reputed max effective range of 200 meters according ot the website.)

That said, it is possible to interpret the weapon elseways (depending on how you define "tip", as in the 2nd edition eldar Codex - its definitely implied ot be that way otherwise.) One possible rationale for this is that the longer the range, the less effective the weapon is. A closer range (meters perhaps) coudl mean more wire uncoils "inside" the target and thereofre minces it up better, whereas here only an arm gets sliced up. possibly, at the extreme limits of teh weapon's effective range.

It is alos interesting to note the wire pierces at the gauntlet yet manages to work its way up and jellify the entire arm - again hinting at some sort of psychic manipulation of the weapon's wire. (small shock for such an exotic eldar weapon, really.)

Page 188
Marine armour was supremely puissant - ususually Injured maries could frequently fight on, courtesy of their armour and reinforced bodies and hormonal boosts. An eldar might easily match himself or herself against several Imperial
Guardsmen - but hardly against a Space Marine.
An Eldar warrior can "easily match" himself or herself against several Imperial Guardsman, but "hardly against a Space Marine." - they are severely outclassed. This does imply your average Eldar is several times better than a normal human soldier, and a Space MArine is perhaps several times better still, and that doesnt even include possibly factoring in the Aspect Warriors between the two. (Exarchs are probably better though)

Page 196
A Fist did question. Especially a captain of Fists should question. He must never squander his battle-brothers.
Could it be that battleships and tens of thousands of crew and Fists too were being expended here because of some vendetta between Inquisitors?
A bit more on Fists being intellectual warriors, a holdover from the Space Marine novel. Note the Battleships having "tens of thousands" of crew.

Page 197
In a spooky affected voice the Harlequin Man called out "Come this way Sir Jaq!" he fired a laspistol.
Firenze screamed with pain and rage. The inquisitor's right arm was on fire. His laspistol had fallen.
One of the Fists was already squirting extinguishing froth at Firenze.
Carnelian laspistol shot either set Firenze's clothing on fire (An Inquisitor running lose without flame retardant clothing?) or it set the arm on fire itself. It's not really clear which is the case. It is interesting that a Fist just managed to have a fire extinguisher handy in combat. I guess the Imperial Fists carried over the boy scout creed into their Chapter.

Page 199
He distrusted her alien armour. He knew that she wasn't sprayed with an assassin's resistant synskin.
As the captain squeezed the trigger, Jaq threw himself in front of Meh'lindi, howling "No!" once again.
Two bolts smashed into Jaq's ribs and detonated.
Its implied that the assasin Synskin would be better protection than Meh'lindi's eldar armor.
Jaq takes two bolt rounds from a Space Marine bolter to the chest and they don't penetrate (as we learn later)

PAge 201
An explosion of pain expanded across Jaq's side. There woudl be such a purple bruise, the breatdh of his ouspread hands. Despite the mesh armour Jaq was sure he had cracked a couple of ribs. It felt as though the pickaxe of a broken rib had punctured a lung. A blow from an exploding bolt was different from that of a stubgun shell.
He had been thrown against Meh'lindi.
Two bolts impacted Jaq from a single boltgun as outlined in the prior quote. They don't penetrate, and it apparently damps down the shockwaves some, but Jaq still suffers bruises and broken ribs (which punctured his lung.) Considering their usual effects on people wearing flak or unarmored, this is probably a blessing. That said we know bolts CAN penetrate Eldar armor, even mere mesh, so it may be that the fists here are using some other kind of round than in other cases. Or maybe not all Eldar armor is the same. (some craftworlds may build it crappier than others)

Jaq also comments that a stubgun and bolt round are different in effect. Obvious of course, but the implication is that the bolt is nastier (whether this means impact, explosive effect, or both.. who knows.) This may imply ballistic properites at least equal to such a shell, though (shotgun at least?)

Page 216
Was the webway a cration of bygone eldar mages? Or was it simply a discovery of theirs? Surely the former must be the case. Yet perhaps the network also grew spontaneously, of its own impetus. The eldar of today could not know all it sways. This webway was an immaterial equivalent of the wraithbone from which they crafted their artifacts by psychic engineering. Perhaps it also possessed its own autonomy.
Jaq wonders at the nature of the webway. We know of course it was given to the Eldar basically, but at this time its history wasn't as developed, IIRC. Jaq speculates whether the Webway has a similarity to Wraithbone, possibly possessing a sort of sentience and perhaps an ability to "grow" or regenerate.

Page 218
Perhaps, suggested the Navigator, travellers who commenced a journey at a particular time were 'out of phase' with other travellers, and occupied a unique time-slot of their own. They might pass other users of the webway, yet not interact with them. THey might always be a minute or an hour earlier or later in time while nevertheless briefly occupying the same location
This was a twisted echo of Fennix's notion that in some greater reality all telepathic messages past and present and future , existed simultaneously.
Jaq's new navigator speculates that travellers in the webway are "out of phase" with each other, hence the lack of interaction, and hints that this is similar to Fennix's concepts about astrotelepathy.

Page 219
Sense of duration had certainly evaporated. Lex's chronometer recorded a lapse of an hour, a lapse of a month, a lapse of only two minutes. Dreamtime, this! Time, smeared as if by Chaos. The blue mist might almost be hallucinogenic, affecting not only the mind but instruments as well. It seemed only moments since they had quit that chamber and Brother Stockman. Or was it only moments since one remembered quitting that chamber? Had they recalled the selfsame moment several times already, imagining that each successive memory was the reality?

Wasn't it said that on some Chaos worlds in the Eye of Terror time had ceased to signify? There, Traitor Marines from the era of Horus existed in a state of everlasting daemonic timelessness.
The implication here is that the Webway has some sort of property of "stasis" where time passes either incredibly slowly, or not at all. Indeed there is mention that this is true, given that some (eg Carnelian) have taken advantage of this property to extend their own lifespans, much as Traitor marines do.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by NecronLord »

Connor MacLeod wrote: Page 216
Was the webway a cration of bygone eldar mages? Or was it simply a discovery of theirs? Surely the former must be the case. Yet perhaps the network also grew spontaneously, of its own impetus. The eldar of today could not know all it sways. This webway was an immaterial equivalent of the wraithbone from which they crafted their artifacts by psychic engineering. Perhaps it also possessed its own autonomy.
Jaq wonders at the nature of the webway. We know of course it was given to the Eldar basically, but at this time its history wasn't as developed, IIRC. Jaq speculates whether the Webway has a similarity to Wraithbone, possibly possessing a sort of sentience and perhaps an ability to "grow" or regenerate.
Actually, as far as I'm aware, there's nothing suggesting it was given to them. They made it, based on discoveries from the Old Ones' ruined warp portal network, but it's not a direct copy; it's substantially more robust, as far as we can tell. We've never heard of enslavers and their ilk breaching it effectively.

The Old Ones' network can (I'm using WFB evidence here, because next-to-nothing is known about them in 40K, but I generally consider them to be linked via the warp, if not in the same universe) be safely said to encompass a million or more worlds, featuring many large and small portals (like the webway) primarily with one or two major ones on each world.

The description of a ship using the Old Ones' portals in Stephen Baxter's(!) The Star Boat makes it sound a lot more like the stargate franchise's iconic gateways, than the web. We know the Eldar extended the network and probably made it far safer than its Old One equivalent, at the cost of speed (the Old One version could cross the galaxy in a step). But I would say the webway is much more impressive; containing many whole cities, at its height.
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Re: Inquisition War 2: Harlequin discussion/analyiss thread

Post by Connor MacLeod »

NecronLord: Okay I stand corrected on the webway origins :D thanks for pointing that out.

Anyhow.. last update for Harlequin. Next up Chaos Child then I am free of Ian Watson FOREVER!!! MUAHAHAHA..ahem. well save for some short stories but that's later.

Page 220
Lex studied the phenomenon beyond the huge skylight with loathing. "It's the Eye, isn't it? We've come such a long way..."

Far, far from Stalinvast. Far to the north-west of Earrth, ,towards the edge of the galaxy. Close to the lair of Chaos Marines - and of even less endearing entities, all bent on spreading the plague which infested reality and sanity.
"Well now," said Grimm to Petrov, "ain't the webway a better means of travel than haulign ships through the warp for days or weeks on end?"
Its implied that they covered thousands if not tens of thousands of light years in a matter of hours - certainly less than a day (no need to eat or rest for the non-Astartes/Assassin folk) We dont know how far Stalinvast is for sure - its implied in the first novel it might have been at least 5,000 LY away - but we can guess. Surfing the web for Stalinvast, I learned that the UK White Dwarf 317 mentions the "Stalinvast Grenadiers" which use Vostroyan equipment. This would broadly indicate they exist in the Vostryoan sector of space, roughly. Going by a rough scaling of the 5th edition map (30-50K LY range for Imperium) we might guess at Vostryoa being 3-6 thousand LY away from the Eye, which is approximately what we figured above.

This would mean (at least relaviive to those travelling in the Webway) FTL speed is something like over a million c - possibly millions of c - much faster than the "days or weeks" Grimm mentions for warp travel (If we assume the same distance applies to those days or week - which is reasonable in context - we get tens or hundreds of thousands of c, though this doesn't include time dilation relative to normal space.

Generally speaking, Webway has the benefit of not just travelling faster, but safetly and more reliably, at the cost of being less "flexible" (IE you enter/exit at fixed points.)

Page 222
"I can recycle and detox my own waste for two days, abhuman. This suit is ancient."
- Imperial Fist power armor can recycle and detox a Space Marine's own waste for two days. Whether this is standard to all suits isn't known but it is implied by the fact Lex doesnt worry bout his own people.

Page 223

- mention of vibroshowers (though by a Squat. The Imperium may or may not have the devices.)

Page 229
"Aiee!" shrilled the Harlequin. "Do you not believe in the Rhana Dandra?"
She ransacked her memory. Rhana Dandra? A final battle, yes, between Chaos and the material universe… Rhana Dandra: that
was the phrase for it. She had never understood more than the general sense of the phrase.
"The sensei knights will take part in the Rhana Dandra," she said ambivalently.
The Harlequin's mask smirked. "Only the Phoenix Lords will take part in the Rhana Dandra, if ever it comes! If it comes, both
Chaos and the universe will be destroyed. Mutual annihilation is preferable to the triumph of Chaos."
the Eldar believe in the Rhana Dandra, a final battle between the material universe and chaos. According to a Harlequin. Only the Phoenix Lords will take part in it, if it comes. If it does come, both Chaos and the universe will be destroyed.

Page 229-230
"The sensei knights think they will take part tin the Rhana Dandra," Mile'ionahd equivocated.
"Naturally their illusion is modelled on our Rhanda Dandra." the Harlequin's tone was brusque.
"Whereas.." she said suggestively.
The Harlequin shrugged impatiently. "The moribund human Emperor's will will finally fail. The human Illuminati will feed all the sensei into that climactic psycho-vortex. Dying Emperor and sensei will all fuse into a new and potent incarnation which Great Harlequins of the Laughing God will supervise. And the Rhana Dandra can be delayed. Did you no tunderstand the Rite of the Ravaged World.
So that was the truth.
The eldar were willing for this resurrection of Imperial power in a new game to occur - under the guidancee of Illuminati whom the eldar manipulated.
The eldar could never recover their once-proud suzerainty over swaths of the galaxy. Their civilization had been too shattered and scattered. The crude human race had supplanted them. Humanity seemed set to crash into Chaos too, bringign galactic cataclysm. Through the sacrifice of the sensei, apocalypse could be averted. The eldar would secretly have their hands on the new levers of power, swinging the new wheel of fate.

How like the hydra conspiracy was the Illuminati plot!! The hydra conspirators aimed to sacrifice the mental liberty, such as it was, of the whole human race. The "good" Illuminati merely] intended sacrificing all of the Emperor's Sons.
The Harlequin cried intoxicatedly, "Similarily doers the Young King approach the throne of the Bloody Handed God. Similarily is the young King consumed in the holy agony so as to kindle the Avatar!"
- the Harlequin explains that when the GEoM supposedly fails, the Illuminati will feed all the sensei into the resulting "psycho vortex" The dying Emperor will fuse with the Sensei into a new and potent incarnation (Which the Great Harlequins of the Laughing God will oversee.) This will supposedly delay the Rhana Dandra. The Eldar would thus be manipulating the new Imperial power, through the Illuminati.

This process is likened to the procecss of sacrifice that results in the awakening of the Bloody Handed God (Avatar of Khaine.) The sacrifice is similarily consumed to awaken the Avatar.

The thing about this that gets me wondering is - if the Star child/Illuminati/Sensei thing wasn't a Tzeentch plot or Chaos cult (which I doubt it was, seriously) but only believed to be.. who set them up? Another Inquisitorial group (Hydra cabal perhaps)? Mayhap Tzeentch did it? The Deceiver, perhaps?

Page 230
"Heeding the summons of cataclysm the Phoenix Lords are leaving the Crossroads of Inertia where they lurk while centuries
- Phoenix Lords pass much of their time in the Crossroads of Inertia, letting centuries pass by in teh galaxy while they await whatever needs await them. As I said before, CArnelian did this too, and it indicates that some sort of stasis or time distortion does occur in the webway (or at least in places.) Not totally sure about this, since what I remember of the Phoenix Lords from the Codexes suggest they tend to live lives of warfare moving from place to place, with armor passed from eldar to Eldar.

Page 231
Eldar aspect warriors seemed to become possessed by their armour in a way which a Marine such as Lex never was. Phoenix Lords must represent a peak of this phenomenon. Ancient armour worn by some bygone hero must dominate the wearer, resurrecting the personality of the ancient hero time and again. By means of spirit stones! Of course, by means of those crystals and pebbles which enshrined an eldar's soul!
Eldar Phoenix Lords in brief. As noted before, these novels invariably read like "Hitchhiker's guide to 40K" except instead of a towel, you get a chainsword.

Page 231
"Ah, the Crossroads of Inertia," she echoed. "Those crossroads in our webway where time stands still."
This was the most likely meaning of inertia. She hazarded rhapsodically: "Where time shifts sideways, where time twists
"Uigebealach," whispered the Harlequin. "If Great Harlequins have discovered the place where time twists backward, is that
location now encrypted in the mutable Book of Rhana Dandra in the Black Library? When the Rhana Dandra comes time itself
must rupture."
"The secret place," she mused, "where what has been can be again."
Could it be that some eldar mystics hoped to regain their past glories by turning time itself backwards, in a cataclysm where
reality was utterly disrupted? Was that the purpose of this mutual annihilation of reality and Chaos known as the Rhana Dandra?
The annulling of history? The abolition of aeons of elapsed time?
Speculation on "crossroads of inertia" and their stasis like properties. This probably means actually that time in the webway flows slower relative to the rest of the world (eg the time dilation we know occurs between objects in warp and realspace) simply in a more controlled/consistent manner, and a more beneficial one at that.

That there is a place rumored where time flows backwards is probably no surprise - we know Warp travel can sometimes have similar occurances (where an object arrives before it leaves or some such) and the Webway is linked in some manner ot the warp. That the Harlequins seek it is again no surprise, this may be beneficial to them undoing any damage done in the past (possibly ot undo Slaanesh?)

As a rule though, I doubt much actual "time travel" like that occurs in 40K, else you'd imagine Chaos would engage more readily in it. Or the Necrons would. Or else this place is different than simply time travel, somehow...
I will note at this piont, on a unrelated point, that Carnelian intended Jaq to be possessed by a daemon and become Illuminatus. Supposedly this is part of some prohpecy by Eldrad Ultrhan and is "written in the Book of Rhana Dandra...

Page 238
A jet of clingfire gushed from one exotic gun held by a guardian. Fire wreathed a Fist. Las-bolts impacted on his suit. The suit was blasted open. The blazing torch which was the Spacee Marine careered onward for a while befor crashing into a borken rib of wraithbone.
Unknown number of eldar lasbolts penetrate and "crack open" Fist armor.. but the "clingfire" (flamer) doesn't penetrate inside until the lasguns breach it. It is possible the flames helped though.

Page 242
Supposing that habitat, thosuands of light years away across the galaxy, was still in existence.
The habitat orbiting stalinvast is thousands of light years away (they're still near the Eye of Terror, I believe.) which lends credence to the calcs I did earlier.

Page 243
The weapons [clingfire gun] sputtered. Instead of hosing, it spat sasomdically - a spittle of bright globules.

Liquid fire had wreathed azul Petrov's forearm. Half of his right arm, from fingers to elbow, blazed.
Flamethrower versus Navigator.

Page 245
He might lapse into a coma of shock and be blessedly quiet until the clingfire had consumed the affected half of his limb - until two chargged twigs, of ulna and radius bones, fell off and his misfortune had finally run its course.
We can't readily calc this really, since its implied that part of the damage came frpm his own fats/tissues going up (wick effect, supposedly) but it would require megajoules to burn off that much flesh. I'm not sure you could "self ignite" that readily since in order ot do that you need to evaporate most/all the water from the flesh you intend to burn, which takes alot of energy in and of itself (water making up over 70% of the human body)

Page 246
Petrov's forearm was a bright candle of combusting tissues and fats upon a wick of bones.
Flamethrower vs Navigator part 2.

Page 247
The las-scalpel had cauterized the stump of his humerus and its sleeve of flesh in a sanitary way which no stroke of a power sword would hav achieved, nor any snapping and wrenching by a gauntlet.
Laser in scalpel form. Cauterizes flesh, presumably this might extend to the weapons (as we know from various examples). Its implied here that powe swords either don't cauterize, or they cauterize less effectively than the scalpel does. This tends to vary according to the author, as some sources do have them having a significant thermal effect, including cauterization.

Page 248
"A Marine's visor isn't equivalent to a window. Imagery is transmitted by impulses through the suit's calculator to slim the visual centre of my brain. Thus I cannot be blinded even by the flash of a thermonuke. With my visor shut my regular vision is in abeyance.
- Lex is immune to the warp eye of a Navigator (with his helmet on at least) due to his autosenses. This might be important for "gaze based" attacks of any kind as an eample (Say in any D&D vs 40k debates. don't laugh, they do happen.)

Page 254
The Chaos Marines opened fire. Unnatural bolts flew from their weapons. buzzing like robotic bees, these bolts swarmed towards their targts. They seemed to steer themselves to a limitd extent. Maybe they were following oscillations in the warped space of this unreal world. A boulder erupted, spraying some stone shrapnel at Grimm's flak jacket. A Fist's helmet erupted too.
Jaq gestured with his force rod, confusing the bee-bolts. A trio of these swooped at a Fist's groin, nevertheless, blasting his girdle-guard open.
A bolt impacted on the vambrace of his forearm. Other bolts penetrated his ruptured groin-guard. He toppled.
- These Chaos Space marine bolter shells seem to possess a self-guidance capability, at least in the webway/warp/eye of Terror. T`he precise nature of this guidance isn't known, but it has some element of psychic power to it, because Jaq is able to psychically disrupt/confuse the bolt shell's guidance.
An unknown number of bolts blast a Marine's helmeted head apart, and three blow a Marine's crotch apart. Or at least the armor around his crotch.

Page 260
"Aye, , we treasure four Furibundus-class Destroyer dreadnoughts and three Contemptor-class dreadnoughts. "
- the Imperial Fists have seven Dreadnought armor suits remaining to them, at least in this novel/timeframe. the Furibundus and Contemptor were early (1st?) edition dreadnoguhts. THe latter wa sa "close assault" design.

Page 260
On some future day as a highest battle honour might his mangled truncated body be ensrhined in one of those, surgically and neurally synched with the machine? Enwombed in sustaining fluid within injection-moulded cermaite, itself veneered with adamantium shaped in some vast plasma-centrifuge of the Adeptus Mechanicus orbiting Mars?
"injection moulded" ceramite... and the adamantium is mentioned to have been "shaped in a plasma centrifuge" which hints at the "plasma forged" nature of Adamantium people have mentioned in the past.

I would still like to know which exact source originated the whole "plasma forging" for Adamantium, though.

Page 261

- its mentioned that the Fist dreadnoughts aren't equipped with assault cannon normally (the Contemptor has "Synchronized double dual boltguns" and the Fury has boltguns and lascannon") but that they could be fitted with one if necessary.

Page 261
"If the cooling and exhaust systems are damaged, heat will build up inside the dreadnought - supposing that it continues to exert itself. The internal actuators might melt or even ignite. this would heat up the amniotic fluid which cushions the pilot. In extremis, this would boil the pilot alive. Signs of thsi will be black smoke venting from teh dreadnought. The internal micro-bore hydraulics sometimes begin to leak. This reduces the dreadnought's strength and mobility.
A "flaw" in the dreadnought's cooling system. Its never said what extent of "damage" might cause it, so the ease with which the flaw might be exploited is never actually clarified.
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