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Slann
5th Jan, 2010

I really like the old Slann for the Rogue Trader era. You do not see them about much these days. They seem to have been over-written with the ‘old ones’. I suppose in current background the Slann are the ‘old ones’, the terms interchangeable, though ‘Slann’ never seems to be used. The problem is that the old ones are so utterly-powerful, and the Slann being mere space frogs, that there is a bit of a disconnect. They do not really much up in concept. I quite like the idea that the Slann of the agents of the Old Ones. At time the interaction may be deeper, and the Slann Priest may function as vessel for part of an Old One’s conciousness, an avatar of an Old One, or visionary. I see the Old Ones as only being able interact with reality through the Slann.

When I read background that refers to the ‘Old Ones’, I naturally think ‘Slann’.

The actual Old Ones to me are far more mysterious, unknown, and unnamed (aside for ‘Old One’). Kinda like the Outer Gods from Cthulhu (like Azathoth) if they remained unnamed. If this were the case the Slann are more like Deep Ones or some such, and the Old Ones are real Gods who we do not know the name off. As such I imagine the (40K) Old Ones to be far more powerful than a C’Tan – far bigger (in Cthulhu mythos I think the C’Tan would be more like a ‘greater old one’ (in a Cthulhu sense, not a 40K sense) – not even a proper god). I am even temped by the idea that the Necrons may have been one army of a rival Old One, or the whole war was ‘nature’, and the Old Ones were testing out their creations (and being all mysterious in their ways).

The 40K war in heaven between the Necrons and the ‘old ones’ mentioned in the background would not be direct war with the actual One Ones, but between the C’Tan/ Necrons and the Slann (and some Slann acting as avatars). Humans may side with the Slann and see them as the good guys, as the Slann are the ones that brought about our evolution.

All this may Old Ones are more cut off from our universe than the chaos gods! (Or the chaos gods may be corrupted Slann – which is really pushing it).

Perhaps Old Ones dwell within a  layer under the warp?

I imagine that Slann were Psykers who were powerful enough to reach out to the Old Ones, to go beyond the warp and touch creation itself.

I wonder what sub-warp Psyker powers are like?

The Emperor of Mankind, may have some of these Slann like powers but weaker. It may account for the idea that he draws on a different part of the warp. Something deeper and unknowable to mortal man. It may also explain why he can use powers but is not keen on others using their powers, because he know that they can not reach the ‘sub-warp’ layers as he can and will be consumed.

The Primarchs were apparently ‘warp enhanced’, in strength and body, drawing power from the warp. Maybe this was a limited hard coded version of ‘sub-warp’ powers? Like a funnel of energy from deep down and up through the corrupting upper layers to the Primarch – keeping the energy uncontaminated (or at least that could have been the plan)?

Magnus was a very powerful Psyker, destined  to sit of the Goldern Throne apparently, so have been able to reach all the way down to this ‘sub-warp’ layer. If he could do what the Emperor did (running with this whole concept) he would became stable, and that is why he did not become corrupt. Magnus did not succumb to chaos influence until attacked by Russ, which pushed his emotions over the edge, the anger mading him vulnerable?

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9 Responses

Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!

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  1. Malika says:

    Ah, you back at blogging again! :D I’m really digging your idea for the Old Ones as some sort of cthulu like entity, which reminds me…they immediately have some sort of horror vibe. Would be great for Sciror to have some sort of ancient alien species which moves behind the covers. It might very well be that in the SITA scenario these figures might actually pop up or wake up again.

    • Philip S says:

      My blogging has always been intermittent ;) While working up an integrated theme for the main site and blog, I became distracted reading through some of my stuff, and I thought I would post a few ideas. I seem to have posted on a few forums too :)

      I do love Cthulhu, and with the layered nature and infinite realities of Sciror, I think such beings could lurk in some of the more twisted out of phase alternate realities. These nameless entities may exert some influence in psionic manifestations during the SITA scenario, and may give form to alien intelligences in our reality?

      • Malika says:

        Hmm, perhaps they would enter “our dimension” through their own creations. They would thus create alien races to function as some sort of avatars to enable them to survive in our reality. This might be aligned to the discussion we had on the TFM forums with the Sciror version of an Eldar like race.

        It might also be the SITA scenario which has enabled these creatures to emerge. Once our dimension and the other ones were more or less isolated from each other. Then humanity’s psionic pandemic occurred, ripping apart our reality of a sorts. This would in a way be very similar to the Eldar Fall. What is left is openings between our dimensions which enable these creatures to access our dimension more easily.

        More thinking about this matter is needed, but I do hope to revive our Sciror discussions again, especially since Icesword is also working on his own background which may or may not be integrated into it all. :)

        • Philip S says:

          This sounds about right. The Slann can acts as avatars for a small part of the Old One’s conciousness, so they can see and interact in our reality and further their own unknowable agenda. I’m sure a Slann would be utterly mad after the experience, gain unbelievably powerful psionic powers (remake a world? Psionic terraforming?), babbling all sorts of prophecies, scrawling patterns of arcane runes in raw magic to form stacked wards that levitate, and indecipherable mathematics etched into the air.

          I will be getting back to Sciror (and WarSpike) after my site have been updated which may take a week or two.

          • Malika says:

            Hmm, so would the Slann be some sort of native lifeform or another constructed one? In the 40k version I prefer the idea that they are just some local lifeform which happened to encounter the Old Ones first.

            If we are however to transfer some of these ideas to Sciror, I prefer a more hard sci-fi or biopunk idea. Perhaps human scientists were working on creating some sort of vessel to capture some sort of psionic consciousness, some sort of human clone/mutant/etc creature which might look completely alien to us, especially when possessed with that extradimensional essence.

            Good to see you coming back to Sciror/Warspike soon! :D

            • Philip S says:

              I figure the Slann would be ‘natural but constructed’ – which is a little counter intuitive at first – by this I mean the Old Ones can manipulate the underlying reality, affecting probability, and hence the Slann evolved naturally by are the product of intelligence design. The long odds shorten. The Slann would never have evolved into what they are without the influence of the Old Ones guiding fate. I reckon the Old Ones tried this on many worlds, maybe even trillions of worlds, to get one result that worked for them.

              The influence of the Old Ones would grow as the Slann developed, until a critical point where the Slann could reach out with their minds into the warp. Eventually the Old Ones are able to touch the mind of the proto-Slann, and possess them. Once this happened the Old One gained direct access to the materium and instantly transformed the proto-Slann into what they are now. In effect the two parties (Slann and Old One) are separated by the warp, and both have to reach into the warp to make contact. The Old Ones influence before the Slann would be very small. After the Slann becomes an avatar of the Old Ones, the power of the Old Ones of the materium increases dramatically via a conduit through the warp.

              It is not true possession like a demon moving into a host, more a remote control of the Slann by an entity of unimaginable power buried deep with the darkest depths of the warp: the void.

  2. Kage2020 says:

    Ah, the ‘ole “transcended Slann” idea, itself a variation of the Traveller “Grandfather”/Droyne Story and… well, probably other stories before that. I’m just too lazy to track the whole “monomyth” thing down. Anyway, not meant as a criticism but you might even find some really old posts on Anargo, or one of the few surviving “archive” forums, that talks about just this thing.

    With that said, it wouldn’t likely mention the Cthulu Mythos since I’m not a huge fan of the whole Lovecraft shtick. Regardless of the specific drapes that you put on this particular window into the 40k universe, it’s an interesting view…

    I use a similar principle for the early Eldar in terms of the “avatars” of the Eldar Gods that would manifest into the material universe (none of this full physical manifestation of warp deities for me).

    Please, please could you fix the “Leave a Reply” text. It has been bugging me for ages. Re-read the second sentence and get the ‘ole punctuation working or insert the obvious word. :D

    Thanks! :D

    Kage

    • Philip S says:

      I’ll have a look through the old archives for transcended Slann. You may remember I used a version of this for the Fonn (Amazons) write up in the Warhammer Fantasy section of my site, to explain the difference between the ‘Old Slann’ and the current degenerate ‘Slann’.

      I like the idea of the Eldar Avatars being something similar, I wonder if the Eldar Gods are are the Old Ones? The Eldar Avatar a construction (golem) body as an alternate to the Slann body for possession by an Old One? Or if not an Old One, the spirit of a powerful Slann?

      Oh, I fixed the reply text ;)

      • Kage2020 says:

        I must admit to forgetting all about the Fonn, so maybe I’ll take a gander at them in a short while (Edit—I forgot that you perpetuated the emasculation of the Eldar!). From what I do remember the transcendent Slann thing is an idea that has been kicking around for some time.

        I’m afraid that I would stringently argue that the Eldar Gods in their “final” state were not the transcendent Old Ones. With that said, I would personally argue that they were the basis of the Eldar Gods; the image that would ultimately contribute to their subsequent formation. Put another way, the “Asuryan Event,” or the event that separates th Eldar from “heaven” is in fact the point at which the Old Slann leave the Eldar on their homeworld and allow them to create the aethyr gods. Thus, the Eldar are both created and create their gods.

        As to the idea that the original “Avatar battlesuits” were there to house the spirit, however temporarily, of an Old One/Slann Mage-Priest? That definitely has some suggestion since it is the extension of “wraith-tech.” Of course, the timeline is horrendously skewed when it comes down to the common perception. For example, one would imagine that with the passing of the lines of Ulthanesh and Eldanesh—the last of the individuals that could summon the aethyr gods—that the Eldar might look for ways by which they could restablish the connection offered by the Tears of Isha.

        Erm, but there we go. That’s just my take on the matter. Make of it what you will.

        Edit—Really don’t like the “Rootway,” but then again I’m rather fond of the “World Tree” from A. Attannasio’s Dragon and the Unicorn.

        Kage

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