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I have always imagined them a bit like the Spacing Guild in David Lynches Dune film, but could someone advise me exactly how powerful they are, and what resources might be available to them? I don't know of anything off- hand, but as they are essential to space travel I would say pretty powerful, but full advice welcome.
They have a great deal of influence, but like a lot of the Imperium they're prone to infighting for presitge and power. Their influence and money can pretty much get them anything they want within reason.
The Navigators are pretty powerful because they wield so much influence, being so essential to the workings of interstellar travel for humanity. If a human ship is warp-capable, it must have a Navigator to guide it through the perils of the Empyrean. No exceptions. The Navy, the Inquisition, the Space Marines, the Adeptus Mechanicus, etc. all rely on the Navigators, and so afford them a large amount of respect.
At the same time, however, the Navigators are held under a certain degree of suspicion due to being psykers and mutants. Although they hold a great deal of clout in Imperial politics, they have to step lightly around certain factions at times to avoid persecution. This situation is probably best represented by the Paternova, the Chief Navigator. The Paternova is a High Lord of Terra, although he/she usually sends an envoy to meetings instead of showing up him/herself. This is because he/she is a horribly mutated psyker that would probably be hunted down and purged were it ever to be seen.
The Emperor set a fire in their hearts that they might burn the iniquitous and the impure from his sight. And the light of that flame shall be as a beacon to the faithful, a light that shines in the darkest places.
The Imperium doesn't really have a capitalist economic system in the way we would understand it, but regardless, the navigator houses are rich. In pure wealth terms they are some of the richest, if not the richest people in the Imperium. They pay a price though in that they almost never interact with normal humans. Even on ship journeys they're generally sealed away in their own warded chamber and don't mix with the rest of the crew.
Also, as realitycheque hinted they're not a guild like in Dune. They're a group of competing houses who vie with each other to become more powerful, and are constantly trying to dick each other over. Part of this is economic, obviously the house which can put its members on the most ships doing the most prestigious work will naturally come out better, but some of it is biological. Navigators instinctively compete for the Paternoval position (and the closer they get, the less humanoid they become) and whichever house the Paternova comes from generally has stronger psychic abilities, making them better at their jobs and more prosperous. In the event the current paternova dies, the most powerful navigators will literally fight to the death to determine succession.
Thus, the only person who might be said to rule the navigator houses collectively is the Paternova, but it's not even clear if the Paternova can speak. He/she is a big psychic ape-monster locked away in a mansion on Terra. That said, he/she does get a represenative the the high lords of terra (the Paternoval envoy) who presumably represents the interests of the navigator houses as a whole.
So my answer in short: in terms of wealth, luxury and importance to the Imperium, the navigators are right up there. In terms of what they can actually do and who they can boss around, they don't have the best position.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; October 12th, 2010 at 12:52.
The Naviators are important. However it must be remembered that the power always lies with the priests, not the oracles. The Administratum are the priests and could make the Navigators lives very bad if they wanted.
I won't turn this into a 'what models' thread, but from this evidence I see a few possible looks for Guild armies - very ornate and ceremonial, power-armoured or sinister johnnies a la David Lynch - none of GW's models particularly apply. What 'look' would you recommend for a Guild army?
A few elite bodyguards of a particularly powerful navigator might have it but for a larger defensive force you are more likely to see carapace armour, perhaps in the form of sealed boarding armour (sealed/armoured helmet, etc)
They would also have access to spies and assassins (death-cult style) and have limited power to arm-twist or bribe local PDF and milita into their service.
Rules-wise the daemonhunters codex with inducted IG wouldn't be far wrong.
For models - you could perhaps use the infinity range - nomad brigada (high tech look) or ariadna veteran kazaks (hired muscle) if you don't want GW stuff.
Hmmm - I will consider that, and all other suggestions.
Power armour is probably a no.. Imperial Guard models to represent household guards and mercenaries are likely as close as you're going to get. The theme of navigators is kind of based on renaissance merchant houses in some ways, so think along those lines.
You're probably not talking high-tech. The navigators live on big sealed estates, any armies they have will be indentured personal guards (probably those whose families have served for generations and understand how to relate to navigators, something most humans won't), not full blown military forces. If for some reason they need military forces, they have the wealth to hire vast numbers of cheap mercenaries and pirates for their little proxy wars against each other. Generally though.. all that's really needed is a personal bodyguard or two to protect their sealed quarters within a starship.
They will have assassins as a big part of their culture is trying to kill each other, with most of the other parts being arranging breedings with each other.
Again, there is no guild. That's only Dune.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; October 15th, 2010 at 17:23.
As I clearly toil under a delusion (a basic understanding of 40K + David Lynches Guild), could you furnish me with some Navigator fluff to rectify this? Also, army fluff is a 'Praetorian Guard' type affair (based on Terra in the Navigator's quarter) - I will think of a better name later,- so any art (I lack the time to trawl dA, so anything pertinent would be welcome) or a more detailed description of the sort of equipment and uniform (and hence models) one would expect would be welcome.
PS - I intend to make them pretty grim looking regardless of style, so masks, long robes and coats are a plus (but, I hasten to add, by no means compulsory).
Last edited by Steel Legionnaire; October 15th, 2010 at 17:45.