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It is my opinion that the Ethereals are corrupted leaders, possibly under the control of chaos. In the Codex, it says that mysterious tau came and stopped those wars, and that the guards good not deny them their requests. The Ethereals have psykic powers, and are using them to control the entire Empire. The helmets put on the Vespid leaders are also controling the, forcing them to do the Tau's will. I do not believe that the general populice of the empire is aware of this, only the high council.
I am currently writing a novel about the Tau, it is slow coming, but coming none the less. Anyone who is interested in getting the first chapter or two, as i finish them, post your email and i'll send it!
Nearly there.. The ethereals aren't psychic, but they have a diamond shaped organ on their forehead (inside the blowhole thing all Tau have, some of the older models have it visible) which releases pheromones which calm and pacify other Tau.
I don't think they're under the control of chaos. They don't behave like it at all, they're not psychic, etc, but there's a lot of evidence that they're not natural beings. The 'strange lights in the sky' just before they arrived, the mysterious warp storms, the fact that the word Aun also translates as celestial, and the presence of weird relics like the paradox of duality all points to some kind of alien influence guiding the Tau along.
Is it Chaos though.. Personally, I think not. Is it the Necrons? Well.. you've got more of a case there but I also think not. Frankly, it's better off as a mystery anyway.
There is a lot of ideas leaning towards the old ones, or some other ancient race. Chaos though, nope, and Tau aren't psychic. It is spelled out in the codex.
I don't know about corrupt rulers either, certainly many of them are benevolent and get their hands dirty (Aun'shi), and about forcing the Vespid, well there is no evidence to support that at all.
I personally think the Ethereals are the most benevolent out of all the institutions in the 40K galaxy.
Turtles For the Turtle God!
Shells For the Shell Throne!
first off blueman, what are you talking about no evidence, read the codex... in the vespid section, 6th paragraph, it talks about how all the leaders were stuff, so read that...
and Mantis, thanks for you imput, do you have any more information about that diamond organ or what ever in the forhead and the breathing slit???
~ Jacobite ~
Last edited by jacobite; September 3rd, 2007 at 17:17.
The autopsy suggests its not a natural organ (I think they suggest it's actually crystalline or something.) So it seems likely that something added the organ to the Tau to make the Ethereals.
As for whether they're despotic.. Yeah, they don't rule by consent. If an Ethereal tells a Tau to commit suicide, he'll do it without any question. But the fact is, the Tau don't know that they're under control, and they derive calm and satisfaction (even if it's just stimulated chemically in their brains) from serving the Ethereals. That, and they would have wiped themselves out with constant warring if the Ethereals hadn't come along.
But back to the diamond organ.. If you look very closely at this model you can see it:
And Aun'Shi has one too..
But the new Ethereals don't.. I don't know if that means GW are rethinking their plans, or that someone forgot to model it, or that it's just assumed to be buried deep in the breathing slit. Who knows, I'm sure we'll find out.
(Sceptical) ~ Jacobite ~
Well.. Not necessarily. It depends how long the chemical effect lasts. It could be days, it could be weeks. Since there are always Ethereals nearby (they are required to lead coalition level actions, i.e. anything involving cooperation between two castes) it doesn't seem unreasonable that Tau would get their pheremonal dose in day to day life.
They don't need it to behave rationally.. The implication isn't that they become savage raging beasts as soon as the Ethereals go, they just start thinking for themselves like any other sentient being.
Note that the point of Farsights rebellion can pretty much be traced back to the time where unknown adversaries killed all the Ethereals in his expedition. That's circumstantial evidence of something unnatural (check the GW website for that one.)
And the pheromone stuff is explicit in the Black Library book Xenology, as I've said. It goes into great detail on the diamond organ, it has an interview in which an Ethereal caste member is interrogated regarding Farsights rebellion and the possible pheremonal effect. Whether you trust the black library is another matter, they've done some pretty ridiculous stuff in the past and even that book as some wierdness (talking necrons, and the eldar gods being the old ones for example.) I choose to side with it because it's a cool idea and it has a degree of fluff support, at least.
As for the Tau codex, the one hint is the legend of the Ethereals arrival, in which everyone who hears them suddenly feels compelled to listen and obey. Come on, we're talking about hostile nations at war, the Ethereals can't be that charismatic.
Or do you mean the Tau codex doesn't imply that the race would have wiped itself out without Ethereal intervention? If so try page 5, end of the paragraph labelled 'advanced evolution', and beginning of 'the ethereals.'
As to the Ethereal having some long-term effect as opposed to a "real-time" one, this does not explain why all Tau units are required to take a leadership test if an Ethereal is killed in LOS. This implies a reaction to a sudden loss whilst, if I read your comments above correctly, such a reaction should only take place after a period of some time. Also, it could simply be that the Tau obey the Ethereals with blind obedience (for want of a better expression) in the same way that throughout history millions of normal rational people have followed and supported irrational and far-from-good people (although I'm not suggesting this is necessarily the case in this instance) simply because they believed - or even just wanted to believe - in what the leaders were saying.
~ Jacobite ~
+++ deleted double post +++
Last edited by jacobite; September 4th, 2007 at 15:10.