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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there LO community.

I have a question about the oft joked about, pined for, and mysterious Squats of the 40k universe. I keep up to date on fluff as codices come out, but only up to a certain point, and I've never read Black Library material. Nor am I knowledgeable about GW's early-to-mid real life history (what I would call 80's to early 2000's).

So these squats, around what year were they phased out of the universe? When did their last codex/supplement officially come out?

I ask because I'd like to see when they were being built as a valid and deep set 40k race by GW; when were in-game histories being planned out in relation to other in-game events, particularly those of the Squat arc.

To provide an example: this piece of fluff from Ancient History by Andy Chambers, as found in the anthology Let the Galaxy Burn. A marine or Guardsman approaches a Mechanicus Adept in some ship's bowel, to hear some ancient history.

'Once, long ago, Man lived on just one island. The broad oceans surrounded him and he believed himself alone. In time, Man's stature grew and he caught sight of other isles far off across the deep ocean. Since he had seen everything on his island, climbed every peak and looked under every stone, he became curious about the other islands and tried to reach them. He soon found the oceans too deep and cold for him to get far, not nearly a hundredth of the way to the next island. So Man returned and put his hand to other things for an age.
But in time food and water and air ran short on Man's island and he looked to the far islands again. Because he could not bear the cold of the ocean deeps, he fashioned Men of Stone to go in his place, and the Stone Men fashioned Men of Steel to become their hands and eyes. And the Stone Men went forth with their servants and swam in the deep oceans. They found many strange things on the far islands, but none as strange or as wicked as the things that swam in the depths between them; ancient, hungry things older than Man himself.
But these beasts of the deep hungered for the true life of Man, not the half-life of Stone, so the Stone Men swam unmolested. At first all was well
and the Men of Stone planted Man's Seed on many islands, and in time Man learned to travel the oceans himself, hiding in Stone ships to keep out the cold and the hunger of the beasts. All was well and Men spread to many islands far across the ocean, such that some even forgot how they came to be there and that they ever came from just one island at all.'
Kron's tale wound on, telling of how the stone men became estranged from humanity by their journeys through the void. This led to a time of strife when the Men of Steel turned against their stone masters and mankind was riven asunder by wars. A thousand worlds were scoured by the ancient, terrible weapons of those days before the Men of Stone were overthrown, and a million more burned as flesh fought against steel. Worst of all, the beasts arose and were worshipped as gods by the survivors. Once proud and mighty, Man was reduced to a rabble of grovelling slaves. Finally one came who freed man from his shackles and showed him a new way to reach for the stars. This path was forged from neither stone nor steel but simple faith. Faith guarded Man from the beasts of the void as steel or stone could never do.
Now this excellent fluff mainly deals with the Dark Age of Technology. I'm not sure when this author got permission, or wrote, for what seems to be one of the most essential background stories of 40k literature. I'd like to ask, for those of you who do have the Anthology, and for those of you who know anything or have anything regarding the Squats to clarify if each coincided around the same time in publishing.
Were Squats being angled as the Stone Man creations of Humanity at the time the DAoT fluff was being written?
We know that early on the parallels between WHF and 40k were very strong, as officially long ago the two universes were tied (now retconned), so we know that the Squats equated to the Dwarves. The Demiurg now fill that gap, but I still ask for the origins of the Squats in GW's mind.

Cheers all,
Duke
 

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To answer the question in bold, no. Squats were a human subspecies, like a combination of Ogryns and Ratlings. They grew shorter and stockier due to being isolated on worlds with dense gravity that were cut off from the rest of the galaxy by warp storms, and they descended underground because those worlds were mineral rich and so the Squats mined extensively. The whole 'Stone Men/Steel Men' thing has never really been explained or expanded on, except in a handful of Black Library novels where every mention was kept deliberately vague or as a half-truth.

I personally believe that the Squats were simply intended, in GW's mind, to be Space Dwarves. Remember that Fantasy came first, and 40k was a scifi version of it that simply became far more popular. When the original 40k came out, the majority of the races were simply analogs of Fantasy: Imperium = Empire, Eldar = Elves, Squats = Dwarves, Chaos = Chaos.

As for racial 'arcs', I don't think GW thought like that. They deliberately left many, many gaps for players to fill in themselves, and they continue to do that to this day, with most codex writers leaving endless dangling plot threads and barely moving the fluff forwards unless they do a complete revamp of backstory (ie, Necrons, Dark Eldar). The Squats only got an 'arc' because GW wanted, for whatever reason, to get rid of them, so they all got devoured by Tyranids and were never heard from again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Marius.
I am aware that the Squats were genetic variants such as the Ogryns et al. In fact this shared genetic past is exactly what makes me wonder what GW was angling for.

The Stone Men are very vague, more-so than the infamous AI they created, but it is clear from the posted fluff above that they were made by men. Big repercussions are present depending on whether the Stone Men were created genetically, mechanically, or as a combination of the two (as cyborgs) by the Golden Men. There is the question whether the fluff above is valid anymore... but for the purposes here I hope to assume so, unless someone can prove that Andy Chambers has been retconned.

If genetically created, then the stars line up don't they! The resulting biologically calibrated humanoids match as heartier, technologically minded variants of the human, which most of us would associate with... squats. Now GW may have never stated exactly so, and just as you say Marius, planned on dropping hints as to this with every codex in minute increments, barely advancing the story save through more and more pertinent hints. The axe the Squats got when devoured by the Tyranids could have ended that line of thought, or could have merely been the last extinction of the Stone Men.

Another theory, I will post later when I get home, is the idea that the Squats are the mutations, and general evolution of the Stone Men, so not exactly them in the original sense.

I have to go now, but my questions still stand, particularily:
I'd like to ask, for those of you who do have the Anthology, and for those of you who know anything or have anything regarding the Squats to clarify if each coincided around the same time in publishing.
Cheers,
Duke
 

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'Let the Galaxy Burn' was published in 2006, thirteen years after the last release of Squat-specific background for the race. The final statement regarding Squats in any definitive terms was made in 93(?) when it was said that their system of homeworlds was attacked and nearly annihilated by a Hive Fleet.

In 2004, Jervis Johnson answered why they were dropped from the game and if they would ever return. Firstly, they had always been more of a joke*, and even in terms of "Fantasy in Space" as Marius pointed out, the guys at GW felt that they had failed in the 'Dwarf Archetype'. Secondly, because of the race's continued existence in Epic, there existed design disparities within the lore. Finally, the design team hasn't been able to come up with a satisfying redesign of the concept - in other words, they can't take the Squats seriously enough to fit them in with the other races.
The final and most important kernel of information which JJ handed out was actually regarding the Demiurg, who many people believe to be "updated Squats". They are not Squats. Not the Squats, so to speak. The Demiurg were an attempt to re-imagine the "Dwarf in Space" archetype, but not necessarily the Squats. Although he said that the idea might some day be expanded upon, it is quite likely that the Demiurg will not be cast as 'subhumans', but rather as a wholly alien race, completely breaking ties with the Squats as we know them.

For all intents, the Squats are dead, wiped out by Tyranids, and their planets have been lost once again to violent warpstorms, so that if any Squats did survive the 'Nid attack, they are now lost forever.

*Bear in mind that during the 80's, when 40k was just getting it's start, it was not a serious game. GW itself was not particularly serious, but 40k in particular was far more tongue-in-cheek than anything that we know today. Planets and characters were named after pop idols and cake manufactures, for instance, or otherwise had silly names. The only real "hangers on" to this are the thinly veiled jokes in the armybooks, such as the 'Nid character "Old One-Eye" (think dirty), and most adorably, the Lizardman character 'Tiq-Taq-To'.

EDIT:
It's worth mentioning that the story from the anthology is a metaphor for the time before the Emperor, and a creation story of sorts. Think about how every major religion in the real world has a creation myth to explain how man came to exist, and why mankind is scattered across the Earth. This is the same thing - how man came to be scattered across the stars.

Furthermore, there is no mention of the 'Men of Steel' in any official fluff. However, in the 3rd edition rulebook, there is a story called the Journal of Keeper Cripias, which details that the Stone Men were followed by the Men of Iron. So for all intents, they are likely one in the same. Furthermore, the Men of Iron are mentioned in the novel 'First and Only', where it is said that Ibram Gaunt finds the STC to create the Men of Iron, but destroyed the device for fear of it being tainted by Chaos, and also for Imperial law banning the use of AI after the events of the Age of Strife (uprising against Men of Stone/Iron)

The story is, most likely, predating Warp Travel, as Man could not even get 100th of the way to the next "island" planet. It is said that Man later spread across the stars on ships of Stone - meaning that Stone is a construction material (likely a metaphor, possibly not though, considering Orks travel via asteroid) and therefore not something genetically created - therefore, it's the nail in the coffin for your Squats theory. At any rate, only Stone can travel between the stars at this point. The 'Stone Men' -who are clearly AI considering they are not devoured by Chaos- create the Men of Steel to be their eyes and hands. Focusing mostly on Hands, this means that the Stone "Men" couldn't actually interact with the things that they discovered - they needed something else to go out and manipulate objects for them. But they did 'make' the Men of Steel.

We know that during the Dark Age of Technology (actually, the height of mankind's technical advancement), Abominable Intelligence was classified as adaptive, self enhancing factitious, and self-aware constructs. This fits the bill for Men of Stone and Men of Iron/Steel perfectly, as one was created, and then created the other. Considering this, what I feel is a fairly accurate picture begins to emerge:

[this is all entirely my own speculation]
The 'Men of Stone' were massive, self-aware, factory ships. Since mankind could not survive long voyages out into the stars, we sent these vessels out into the stars on voyages which would probably take hundreds or even thousand of years, even at the fastest possible sub-warp speeds. Rather than spending more time prior to launch, creating a crew of AI to manage the ships or to explore the planets that we launched them towards, we packed these factories to the brim with the knowledge and raw materials required to build their own AI (the Men of Iron/Steel) to handle anything that would need done either on the trip or at the destination.

As time goes on, the factory ships continue their outward expansion, learning from each new planet that they arrive at, and every generation of Men of Iron that they create. Eventually, the Men of Iron are so advanced that you have a sort of inter-AI 'Singularity', where the Men of Iron become self-aware enough and self-sufficient enough that they feel they have no need for the massive factories. At this point, because of some mis/re-interpretation of the mission, the Men of Iron decide to kill off the Men of Stone.

ALSO:
Bear in mind that man had spread to the stars during the Dark Age of Technology, which is, incidentally before the Birth of Slaanesh (which causes the Age of Strife/Isolation). The Emperor doesn't come back until after this, and the Squats were not discovered until the Age of Reunification/Imperium, AKA the Great Crusade. The Squat's own fluff has always made it clear that they were human descendents, lost on high gravity planets during the Age of Isolation, during which point they evolved into the Squats. They were among the first humans to travel beyond our solar system on slower-than-warp vessels. They "rode" the "Stone Men" out into space - they are evolutions of the Stone Men themselves.
 

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Sarathai said it better than my recollection "GW felt bad about making a joke of the Space Dwarves and un-made the army like Highlander 2."

In fact this shared genetic past is exactly what makes me wonder what GW was angling for.
You give GW too much credit. Their authors simply made disorganized, increasingly obscure fluff references over a thirty year-long timeline. Whatever theory you come up with about the Squats won't be reliable, modern fluff but neither will anybody will be able to prove you wrong.
 

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I am aware that the Squats were genetic variants such as the Ogryns et al. In fact this shared genetic past is exactly what makes me wonder what GW was angling for.
There's your problem right there: you think that GW has, or at one point had, an end game. They didn't create any race, let alone the Squats, with a goal in mind to steer towards. No race has a point or specific event they are moving towards; they are all stuck in the end times, and they will never move beyond it. There will never be any GW stuff that takes place after M41.999, there is nothing they are moving towards. The 40k universe is, and always will be, static in terms of fluff continuation.

Similarly, they don't link any current race to any specific event in human history earlier than the Rise of the Emperor. Even the Fall of the Eldar/Birth of Slaanesh is chronologically placed at the start of the Unification Wars on Terra as an excuse for why the warp storms of the Age of Strife suddenly ended. You cannot therefore link any race to the Age of Technology or earlier because, as far as GW's lore is concerned, nothing but broad strokes happened in between the Necrons going for a nap and the Rise of the Emperor.

Look at the C'tan, for example. No-one decided to drop hints about some future race by giving the Callidus Assassin a C'tan Phase Sword, they simply thought 'hmmm, C'tan sounds like a cool name for a sword.' Years later, another developer decided 'C'tan is an even better name for a race of aliens', and we get the Star Gods. Now, a new developer has decided that 'C'tan should not be Star Gods, but pieces of Star Gods'. See, no fluff advancement, just continuous retcons and re-writes.

Games Workshop does not have 'plans' to advance the fluff any further than it already is, and they never have. If they did, it would have been leaked already. If they come out with some grand plan in the future, it will be something they just came up with; like the 'timeline' for the Legend of Zelda games that Nintendo came out with and claimed they'd been following all along, which is simply bull poop.
 

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Wow, this has blown up since my post - anyways, I just tossed in a HUGE edit to my initial post. Cookies for anyone who reads the whole thing, but I scoured Lexicanum, Wikipedia, and my own library of old 40k rulebooks and Black Library stuff to piece it together. There was a thread on here about the Stone/Iron men a while ago, so a lot of that was already somewhat fresh in my mind. Anyways, yeah - I probably know about as much about 40k fluff as I do Christianity, which is kinda depressing. I was going to make a joke in there, but I don't want to offend anyone...
 

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Cookie please. No nuts though, I'm allergic.

Going to add my own speculation here:

Ships of Stone might have been actually asteroid colonies shot out into space to serve as generational ships, and the Men of Stone were the colonists; 'created' here could have been a metaphor for building nations of people. As they didn't use Warp Travel, they didn't get consumed in the warp, and developed, as the Captain suggests, robot servants to further explore where they couldn't, and that ended up all 'I Robot'. Then Navigators were first born at the beginning of the Dark Age of Technology, huge expansion boom, then as the Eldar became more and more decadent the warp became more and more stormy, until no travel was possible and the Age of Strife came upon the galaxy. Cue birth of Slaanesh after a few thousand years, end of warp storms, Emperor begins Unification Wars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hmm, there seems to be an assumption that I haven't done my research regarding quite a few points, and a general lack of knowledge on GW authorship tendencies. Fair enough, the internet swallows much in our messages, and everybody can angle an inquiry or answer a certain way. But please, from now on do not assume too liberally; I stated the limits of my knowledge, and am willing to learn if people are politely conducive. I'd rather not be second guessed as to what I'm thinking, or can possibly know.

But enough of that. Sarathai: that was very comprehensive, thank you for taking the time. I'll take all the cookies thank you very much. Your points on the Demiurg and the Steel/Iron relations are all probably correct from what I have read. For you I'll post a link to a post containing excellent collected research regarding the Men of Iron:

Warhammer 40k: The Men of Iron | SpaceBattles.com

It's long. Very long. But worth it as the man is detail oriented and draws good conclusions. That it dates from 2011 gives it a good point of view as well- not too dated. Its coverage of the Men of Stone was what put me on the track of thinking Squats, though he does not suggest the topic, as we all know what WFB Dwarves equate to- Stone. And Squats being very obvious Dwarf fill-ins for 40k, my train of thought went to the possibility that the era's fluff writers were in fact holding some cards regarding their origins close, and the Men of Stone closer, hence a possible relationship between the two. This possibility has been discussed in the past, but not enough I thought.

But as for your thoughts on Men of Stone being vessels themselves, I would disagree. You take a literal interpretation of the Myth enough as it is (by thinking the Men of Stone to be strictly mechanical), so to say that they are vessels is agaisnt the spirit of the story of descendents (Golden>Stone>Iron). There's an essential fact missed out, that is very indicative that the Men of Stone were humanoid and possibly, possibly not, flesh based. The text you referenced, The Journal of Keeper Cripias (incidentally for those unfamiliar with it, a large part is quoted, or paraphrased, by the author in the link I just posted) says this of the Men of Stone:

In time, the Second Men of the Stone Race appear, and in their wake come many miracles and marvels of technology that strengthen the Stone Men’s power, but are also harnessed by those of the Golden Race. Although physically inferior to the Golden Race, and not of philosophical temperament and disposition, the Stone Men have in them the conjurations of great artifices and mechanisms. In time, the Golden Race looks to the stars to expand their dominion. The Stone Race builds great machines of power that send both Men of Stone and Men of Gold into the Ether. However, once the burgeoning race of Mankind has taken its first steps into the greater cosmos, the Golden Race dwindles in influence through their dependence on the artifices of the Stone Race. Thus the Golden Age comes to an end and the Stone Men prevail.
That's a physical description of them in comparison to the more philosophically minded, and superior-in-stature Golden Men (who are also difficult to speculate on). So they cannot be ships. That Men of Gold can travel on "Stone Ships" is probably a reference to the product of Men of Stone. Also what inspires me to think of them as biologically based are the "temperament and disposition" which tend to be natural gifts of emotion. A.I. could at that point have been constructed to feel, but that doesn't account for the disappearance of the Men of Gold, who are at first assumed to be Humans of a sort. Men of Stone literally replace their creators/predecessors. Moreover language in the text two paragraphs or so down phases the Men of Stone out in favour of Humanity, implying (I assume this) they were human variants. The entire Imperium might be of the Men of Stone predisposition. I decided to explore the idea that they were still separate from the Human form of the 30th century, in possible a heartier and warp resistant form (i.e. the Dwarf Analog).

To conclude on another point: I don't believe GW has ever actually left the fate of their storyline in the air. Somewhere, sometime, the designers speculated on the likeliest outcome, the out come they wanted, and the outcomes that fan speculation would generate. I could be terribly wrong about this, but if I am, please cite and be polite. Ultimately they decide which author gets initiated into the Black Library, and they insist on authoring the Codices by their own hands. I know very well that the game is intended to never end: sales depends on its stagnating stalemate. But that does not mean that the Squats at whatever point of time may not have been fashioned as the survivors of the Men of Stone. Which leads to my OP, asking hopefully for dates of Sqaut termination and DAoT authorship. To Sarathai I am thankful for pointing out that 1993 was the year Squats were cut out in contemporary history. The 2004 meeting was also helpful, so thanks to that.

And once again my
Sincere Cheers,
Duke
 

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Here: Squat - Collectors Guide - CcmWiki

According to this, Squats received models from 1988 to 1991, and they were going to be introduced in 1992 for 2nd Edition but the race was removed before that. So to answer your original question, that's when they were cut out, and their last codex/supplement would have been in the original Rogue Trader, if they ever got one at all.

The main thing that confused me in this thread was that after asking said question, you added fan speculation with an unsupported link to the Stone Men, based off of a Black Library short story written more than a decade after the Squats had been removed. You also say that you don't believe that Games Workshop would leave their story up in the air, which is contrary to every other race's story to this point; none of them have endings, why expect the Squats to have one? And why the link to the Stone Men, there is nothing to support that other than you speculating on the fact that Fantasy Dwarves have an affinity for stonework and the Squats were Space Dwarves. That's supposition, not a proper citable link, because there is nothing to cite.

As for developers choosing who gets into the Black Library...nope. Games Workshop game developers have no say in who gets submitted to the Black Library as an author, they work in a completely different capacity. Developers don't run Games Workshop, nor any affiliated companies; they just work for them. Just as they don't get to say what Forgeworld does, they don't get to say anything with regards to who does what at Black Library. If that were the case, then Black Library would be considered canon, and there would be no divergences from the codex lore, instead of all the glaring contradictions we get. Instead, the developers get to come up with rules and lore for the codexes they are assigned, and that's the extent of their influence.
 

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In brief, I think that in every case that I've read, the idea of Squats being descendents of the Men of Stone is pointing that they are not. They are descended from the first human colonists prior to the Age of Strife. For the Squats to be descendents of the Men of Stone, you would also be saying that all Non-Terran humans, Ratlings, Ogryns, etc were descended of the Men of Stone. All mentions of the Squats place them as descendents of humans. Furthermore, during the Age of Strife, the Stone Men were wiped out, as were the Men of Iron that they created. There has been an Imperium-wide ban on AI ever since, as a result of that. They were not Servitors, I don't think that they had enough biological components to genuinely evolve or reproduce into anything like the Squats. They weren't genetically modified either, again, they weren't servitors and they were both considered to be Abominable Intelligence, which specifically refers to machines. Servitors were the workaround for that - using existing organic brains strapped to machine bodies, rather than fully fledged thinking or self-aware machines.

As far as the developers having any sense of what would happen or what was "meant to happen" with the Squats - no. They have been retconned so thoroughly that GW will actually edit the reprints of old books/stories to exclude any references to the Squats, and if they can't edit them out (because they are integral for whatever reason or other) they refuse to reprint it. It's so strange that people are so hung up on the Squats and utterly forget the Zoats (Space Lizardmen). This is what GW was intending to do with the Squats, but for some reason, fans latched onto them and have been dredging it back up for years, so they never really fade into memory.

Having written and submitted to Black Library, as well as having read several of their novels, they do not make their choices of writers based on any of the existing fluff. They might, somewhat, but look at Gotto and tell me that he has any idea of what the hell the 40k is about. Likewise, remember that nothing that you read in Black Library is actually cannon, it can be retconned or flat-out ignored at any point in time. That being said, there are certain rules which even Black Library is supposed to follow, as evidenced by the fact that they cannot publish anything having to do at all with the Squats. The fact that the Squats have been dead and a "hush" order placed on them since ~93, and the story you quoted originally was featured in 'Let the Galaxy Burn' published in 2006, is pretty much saying that Stone Men are not Squats. Furthermore, the Squats were dead and gone when 3rd edition was released, and therefore, the 'Journal of Keeper Cripias' (I picked up 40k in 3rd ed) is also too old to make any direct reference to the Squats.

Basically, your entire idea hinges on the fact that the Stone Men coexist or predate the Squats, in terms of real life dates on the writing of the fluff. The problem is that they do not - quite the opposite actually. Could a writer have slipped in a very secretive reference to the Squats as Stone Men? Yeah, I suppose he could have. But that's doubtful, it wouldn't serve any real purpose. If anything, the reference to Stone Men might be early evidence to the ideas kicking around which would hopefully replace the Squats, and would also explain why there has never been any mention of the Gold/Stone/Iron men in any mainstream, official fluff for the past 3 editions - they tried it, didn't like it, and pulled it from the shelves before it could really become something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Splendid! You've tied up the loose threads- Squats are actively purged from the canon, thus the retcons negate any fluff built with them in mind. Ergo: no literature past '93 can account for them. Men of Stone are still Men of Stone.

I will definitely check out author Gotto for whatever wackiness within. An thanks to all for clarifying the Black Library selection process. Sarathai- was what you wrote accepted, & what was it?

-Duke
 

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Don't go read C.S. Goto's stuff, you'll be much happier. It's not that he violates fluff as much as he's simply a terrible writer. On one page alone in one story, a Rhino suddenly becomes a Land Raider and then back into a Razorback. And this isn't saying he just gets the names wrong, he actually describes the different vehicles as one thing.

Add to that Chaos Sorcerers who worship Khorne, Eldar who are former Exarchs and can also keep wargear as souvenirs, children destroy a Falcon grav-tank with rocks and sticks, backflipping Terminators, apparently Eldrad Uthran and the Seer Council of Ulthwe Craftworld all worship Slaanesh, and of course, he is obsessed with multilasers, to the point that he mounts one on a tyranid carnifex.

There is a reason he hasn't written anything for the Black Library for years and years: he is terrible and cares virtually nothing for the universe or its fans.
 

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Ah, a proper old-fashioned fluff debate! I feel quite nostalgic.

I'm not so sure that the various Men of Material "races" are actually that, just stages of civilisation. For a parallel, look at this brief passage from the book of Daniel, for how it can be presented (Daniel 2:31-34):

"You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue--an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

"This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

"After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
As the Journal of Crepias talks in similar language, I wouldn't think of the Men of Stone as anything in particular, just different stages in humanity's history with their salient characteristics brought out. Particularly as humanity doesn't die out at any point.

One thing that I'd particularly like to get settled is how this all maps into other accounts of humanity's history; I think it's fairly clear that the Dark Age of Technology was the Stone Men, who created the Iron Men which precipitated the wars leading to the Age of Strife, and the rest is history. However, Crepias and other sources don't clarify what happened to the Gold Men (and it's plain missed out in the OP), just that they "died out". Are there any accounts of what happened between the Stellar Exodus and the Dark Age of Technology that could explain this? I know the Mechanicum existed prior to the DAoT, and gained power steadily, and because of their tech they were the first element to really emerge out of the Age of Strife, but I don't have much on what happened before that point.

As for the future direction of the Demiurg, the name implies they might be something bigger than just space dwarfs, which would be an interesting change of pace from the "it's all the Old Ones" tone of a lot of the fluff. I'd be interested to see where they take them, but they may just end up being a reconceptualisation of the Bentusi from Homeworld. Either way, I'd love to see them get something like the Xenology treatment.
 

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Games Workshop does not have 'plans' to advance the fluff any further than it already is, and they never have. If they did, it would have been leaked already. If they come out with some grand plan in the future, it will be something they just came up with; like the 'timeline' for the Legend of Zelda games that Nintendo came out with and claimed they'd been following all along, which is simply bull poop.
Yup pretty much that, it happened in the C&C series too.
I agree 100%

EDIT: Just throwing 2cents here: Men of stone, gold, iron etc etc, might be a reference to the Ages of Man ancient Greek theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_Man

Obviously with a bit of A.I. thrown in.

Further more it is my belief/conclusion from what I read that the men of stone and men of iron were fundamentally the same but with a distinct difference: The men of stone were not real AIs. I.E. not capable of independent thought and abstract reasoning but much like a super programmed computer that can simulate intelligence within certain parameters but not evolve it further. Perhaps the men of Iron were that: The true A.I.

Don't go read C.S. Goto's stuff, you'll be much happier. It's not that he violates fluff as much as he's simply a terrible writer. On one page alone in one story, a Rhino suddenly becomes a Land Raider and then back into a Razorback. And this isn't saying he just gets the names wrong, he actually describes the different vehicles as one thing.

Add to that Chaos Sorcerers who worship Khorne, Eldar who are former Exarchs and can also keep wargear as souvenirs, children destroy a Falcon grav-tank with rocks and sticks, backflipping Terminators, apparently Eldrad Uthran and the Seer Council of Ulthwe Craftworld all worship Slaanesh, and of course, he is obsessed with multilasers, to the point that he mounts one on a tyranid carnifex.

There is a reason he hasn't written anything for the Black Library for years and years: he is terrible and cares virtually nothing for the universe or its fans.
You forgot the multilaser Carnifex, how could you?
BTW that is semi-cannon now so that you know. They can mount aegis defense lines right?
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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9,222 Posts
Sarathai- was what you wrote accepted, & what was it?
Nope, it wasn't. When you submit, you don't send them a full manuscript, you send them a chapter or so, and a plot summary for the book. I prefer 40k fluff over Fantasy, so I wrote on the First Battle for Armageddon, during the period before the arrival of Commi Yarrick, when the Guard were still being sent out piecemeal to be destroyed by the Ork hordes. Think about the movie 'Platoon'. It followed a squad of Guardsmen into their first battle - a nighttime jungle defense against the Orks where the rest of their regiment is wiped out - to their flight back across the Ash Wastes in an attempt to rejoin Imperial Forces. They first get to Infernus Hive as it is being overrun, fleeing with the trains of refugees across the wastes and hearing about the virus-bombings at Helsreach, fall of Acheron, and following rumors of a Commissar (Yarrick) leading a last-ditch defense at Hades Hive. They arrive at Hades during the closing chapters, and participate in the doomed defense. They are cut down one-by-one until only the radio operator and one other squaddie remains, the squaddie bleeding out in his arms.

I got a letter back from them, which I suspect is more than most people got, but there was a lot working against me. Firstly, they didn't usually trust new writers with anything longer than a short story in a larger anthology. Secondly, my story dealt with parts of the 40k setting which "didn't fit with the target audience." In other words, I was tackling ideas hadn't really been explored - I wanted to show the more terrifying implications of the Imperial warmachine. It's one thing to read sterile blurbs about Ork Speed Freeks attacking unarmed refugees who are fleeing without supply through a desert of toxic fumes, and another to have someone paint a picture of what that would look like.

My two favorite Black Library books are '15 Hours' by Mitchel Scanlon, and 'Riders of the Dead' by Dan Abnett. Both are gory even for Warhammer pulp-fiction standards, but both of them deal with themes that go a little deeper than just "omg heroes and WARRRRRR~!!!!!!" On two separate occasions, I read snips of each book in different highschool classes I was in, because it was hard to tell that they were even about Fantasy settings. The bloody opening of 'Riders of the Dead' was cool just for the descriptive nature of the battle, which I compared to books about real events as an example of "selective censorship", and bits from '15 Hours' to reference themes of camaraderie during trench warfare, similar to 'All Quiet on the Western Front'.
 

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LO's unofficial Jester
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2,900 Posts
Splendid! You've tied up the loose threads- Squats are actively purged from the canon,
-Duke

I think there are a few more 'modern' references to squats in the canon. I am pretty sure they get mentioned to Interrogator Ravenor in one of the novels (Who says he has never heard of them) and also in one of the rule books (maybe guard codex) there is mention of the subhumans of Golgotha which is a refernce to a battle report fought between squats and orks where Commissar Yarrick was captured.

In terms of background for the squats I wouldn't look at WH40K but rather at EPIC. Here the source book 'Warlords' specifically states that squats were human mining colonists that adapted to the high gravity worlds they were on. The fact that they are extremely stable mutations is one reason why they ended up being so closely allied with the Imperium.

GW have seriously retconned the reasons why they were written out of the background. Essentially the squats had a very viable army in terms of Epic, specialising in super heavies and support weapons. However such super heavies were not suited to WH40K at that time therefore their WH40K army was always quite lacking being something of a mixture of Imperial Guard and Space Marine in play style.

This was fine as far as it went however when GW released the disaster that was Epic 40,000 effectively meaning that Epic was no longer one of the mainstay games it left the squats somewhat out on a limb. This was then combined with WH40K getting grimmer and darker and GW thought it was a good time to drop them given that it didn't really fit the feel of the Imperium to have subhuman allies. More crucially it would have been very difficult to market them in a way that was significantly different from the Imperial armies.

My personal view was that GW made a real pig's ear of how they went about dropping the squats. At first they said squats had never existed, then they hastily backtracked and said that in fact they had been eaten by Tyranids (rather daft given that their homeworlds would represent a fairly tough nut to crack for the biomass hungry Tyranids).

On the plus side GW have learnt their lesson and this is reflected in how other races are treated. Chaos Dwarfs or Fimir for example could have suffered a similar fate in Fantasy but instead GW simply said they weren't releasing army books for them. And then many years later both races have made a return. As have Imperial beastmen in the fluff I notice.

Strangely enough I still think that squats will eventually get a release. I think the range of models that GW now releases is vast compared to the 80's and 90's and they are far more willing to consider huge tanks on a WH40K board.


As for your theory about the Men of Stone, GW is pretty uh....'liberal' with it's canon (Draigo for example) so I wouldn't take it too seriously. If you want Squats to be in your version of the WH40K universe that works. If you want them to have some connection to the Men of Stone that also could work.
 
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