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Kal Vaneck
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Kal Vaneck

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PostSubject: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 25 2014, 17:56

Does anyone know how one becomes a Haemonculus? of course it doesn't explain in the codex and I'm curious to know, also it is clear in "Path of the Incubus" that there are more than just Haemonculus and Haemonculus ancient, so also if you know the ranking system of the Haemonculi and how one rises through the ranks
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macknight
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 25 2014, 18:34

In the dark eldar books, you start out as a wrack, then gradually ascend the ranks through feeling pain and causing pain equally.
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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 25 2014, 18:45

@macknight wrote:
In the dark eldar books, you start out as a wrack, then gradually ascend the ranks through feeling pain and causing pain equally.

That's also what the codex says. On the page, that introduces the wracks.

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 25 2014, 19:11

But the codex does not outright state that they become Haemonculi. It mentions them being hopeful, but nobody really knows.

Personally I think that it would vary from Coven to Coven, but it wouldn't surprise me if the best of the Wracks became Haemonculi.

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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 26 2014, 09:27

It's the only reason, it makes sense, since the codex states, that they became wracks,
out of their own free will. And I can't see a haemi, nursing small DE children,
wanting them to become his successors...

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 26 2014, 10:10

Equally, however, I could see Haemonculi being twisted enough to have all these willing victims and then scouting from other sources.

We know that there are scientists in Commorragh, the guy that made the Glass Plague and the guy that turned himself into a beam of light to travel between Craftworlds and boast, so I think Haemonculi might like to present these folk with offers more than Wracks, seeing as they already have an understanding of twisted arts and already have the will to do what the other Haemonculi do.

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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 26 2014, 11:18

The glass plague guy was an artist, I think.
What else? Ah, we know, the Haemonculi teach others. Fabius Bile for example.
That was in 796.M37. So, when a wrack is, well, extra ordinaire,
he could be instructed in the arts of the flesh. Sounds right to me...

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PartridgeKing
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 26 2014, 14:41

I think the key point has already been covered. It depends on each Coven. The codex states that Wracks willingly subject themselves in service to the Haemonculi in the hopes that they will one day become like them, however it also describes Haemonculi as truely ancient beings who were perhaps some of the original architects of the dark cults of pleasure that sprang up prior to the fall. I would point out that if the latter is true for all Haemonculi then the first statement can never come into being, as said Wracks are invariably younger Eldar. Technically if we add the caveat that many Haemonculi are the oldest of Eldar from before the fall then it is possible that Wracks could become Haemonculi... assuming that it is a process that comes about in a transformative fashion.
 
Potential but not really Spoilerey Spoiler.
 
In the Path series, the Coven of the Black Descent seems to follow a traditional 17th-19th Century Secret Society structure in that people ascend - or in this case descend - the ranks in multiple ways and the megalithic rank structure means that most people only know about the ranks just above [below] them and at each specific point you learn quite how far up [down] the organisation you've not come. That sort of Coven structure would easily gel with the idea of Wracks being able to become Haemonculi, as at the furthest extension of the idea we could have slaves, servants & actual Wracks at the bottom [top] of the rank structure, below [above] even the lowest of the Haemonculi, but able to ascend [descend] to the ranks of one. At least this makes sense from a socio-'political' sense.
 
A major consideration and potential hump in the Wrack to Haemonculi road / though-process, is the question how beyond the Eldar biological norm are Haemonculi, or even how 'supernatural' are they - this being supernatural as defined by an Eldar perspective not a human one. The codex describes them as sustaining themselves on esoterica beyond the Dark Eldar norm, and their psychic vampirism - simplest description I can express for the Dark Eldar 'condition' - honed to a level that allows them to sup on things others cannot.
 
Therefore there is always the possiblity that Haemonculi could even exist in the 'post-Eldar' category in a similar (but not actually similar) fashion to Mandrakes. And if that is the case the we bump into the quandry of whether such a 'supernatural' change / event is replicatable, for example do we believe that new Mandrakes come into being - possibly yes assuming Mandrakes have reproductive capabilities, be they biological or otherwise. However we might be happy to think that Mandrakes can reproduce themselves to make more, but do we believe that normal Eldar are able to become Mandrakes, and what does this mean for the Wrack-Haemonculus question?
 
Personally I'm almost now wanting to lean towards the Haemonculi are 'post-Eldar' in a similar, but distinctly disimilar way that Mandrakes are, however from the Path books I wouldn't be surprised if this is not the case. I freely admit / display my Coven bias, and I always felt the Haemonculi in the series were very.... hmm how to describe it? If we're a race of S&M Fey Vampires, they're just the ones who go in for the really really hardcore body-mods and know how to do a some fun things the rest of you don't, but at the base level we're all still the same race. Using the 'Blade' universe as an example they're just the ones with the oddest fashion sense not an entirely different sub-species like the Reaper Vampire strain. This would also mean that they're - not really / much - 'better' than the rest of the Eldar race, which would sadden me.
 
To try and get back to my own view point which I wildly tangented from.
In my own Coven - see the original "it depends on the Coven" point - Wracks can and do become Haemonculi, Comlacht Creuma has for example. However I'm now taking to my 'post-Eldar' theory and deciding that it is not simply a social / class transition based on one's skill with a surgical saw or stitching needle. Now previously to be 'elevated' my Coven required one to make a 'significant personal breakthrough' proving that you were worthy of becoming recognised as a Peer rather than a peon.
 
This technically means anyone can and could do it, whilst I like that meritocratic side of things I'm going to take it that said 'significant personal breakthrough' must be of significant scale to become a suitable transformative event and cause them to become 'post-Eldar'. As once can imagine that this would not be an entirely clear, cogent or consistant situation - let along one that's readily understandable or predictable - I'm going to go so far to say that perhaps only the Ophidian Lord - leader of the Coven - is actually aware of what consititues such an event, and perhaps even that he's the only one aware of the concept of this Eldar/post-Eldar transformation in that sense. Whether he fully understands it or whether it's all even so far beyond his awareness that he's as much guessing and lieing and generally pretending he knows more than he does however is entirely possible.


Editted -
Short Version:
Each Coven is different.
It's a wonderful thought-experiment with many many angles to consider.
Partridge King sure can gibber.
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Aroshamash
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 27 2014, 15:11

Yes, and the codexes also state that all Space Marine Captains are untouchable heroes, veteran leaders of countless campaigns, that all Imperial Guard Commanders are amazing officers, etc. The unit fluff is just to get a feel for what the typical example is like. The haemonculi aren't all as old as the Fall, they're just usually pretty damn ancient. You're also assuming that the "super-natural-ness" of the haemonculi is zero-sum, that they either are or aren't, which ignores the fact that the wracks themselves are pretty modified, and would be approaching the physical abilities of the haemonculi themselves.

Some Covens might "promote" a Wrack once they manage to fleshcraft their own bodies with a sufficient level of skill, once they prove that they are the artists, not just the canvas.

Also, personally, I see the haemonculi more like the Tzimisce from Vampire the Masquerade :p

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PartridgeKing
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 27 2014, 15:58

Exactly, codex unit fluff is always going to be biased and limited - though also technically correct. My question / thought regarding that is more: which of those statements do we, or you, consider to be more true, and is that actually something we should be considering when we talk about this process? Of course it's all open to debate, personal opinion etc and there's no definitve 'wrong answer' I'm more interested to see what people's thoughts are regarding those specific potentially contradictory points.

As to the zero-sum nature of the matter, my thoughts there would be. Yes Wracks are modified, but are they modified enough to be far enough beyond the natural state to be 'supernatural'. Also one could say 'supernaturalness' is always going to be a binary case but entirely dependant on where you choose to place the boundary. In that I can't really think of a part-supernatural entity, or being a quarter-supernatural. Does that make sense?

I suppose the line I was drawing was less about being supernatural and more about being 'post-Eldar' - that being taken to mean the point at which you are no longer a part of the Eldar race in anything other than a sociological fashion (I think I arranged the negatives correctly there, apologies if I didn't and the sense is lost, hopefully you get my point) - and basically looking at the theory that that means there's a boundary that all Haemonculi must have had to cross to become Haemonculi - obviously this also means for a Wrack to potentially become a Haemonculus they would need to cross this theoretical boundary as well.

As to whether a Wrack is able to reach the level of skill or Haemonculus-ness without becomng a Haemonculus is another potentially interesting question, especially if we hold to there being a specific boundary that needs to be crossed.

To reference my own Coven once more; Comlacht Creumha underwent a self administered process that caused his skin to change into a strange metal-flesh like compound, this was what allowed his elevation. So as you can see, mine is a Coven that ascribes to that philosophy entirely.

From my half-remembered knowledge of the Tzmisce I wouldn't consider this to be an unreasonable comparison to make. Smile
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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 27 2014, 17:16

Quote :
The glass plague guy was an artist, I think.
He was an artist, but I doubt any artist would be able to extract and modify a virus that turns people into glass without studying science in some way.

PartridgeKig and Aroshamash have more precisely, and with more detail, said what I was trying to convey.

Partridge has his own alternate story for how his Haemonculus came to power, as I do with my own character. My Haemonculus Ancient does predate the fall, but he was originally a priest of Asuryan. In a bid to survive he slaughtered his family for their depravity and fled into the webway. He managed to earn a place in a pre-existing coven through promising them ancient knowledge from his shrine, so they let him live in their realm and experiment. He eventually usurped them and took the realm for himself, still seeing himself as pure compared to other DE despite the levels of depravity he had one to.

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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: Haemonculi background   Haemonculi background I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 27 2014, 17:27

Well, a story for your characters is always a good thing. I got one for my Archon, too.
In short: He planned to overthrow Vect. Didn't go as planned. Poisoned by Vect
with a two component poison and so forced to be his bodyguard and errand boy.
When my haemi is ready, some time this year, I hope, I will make up a story for him.

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