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influence of the ethereals
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Old 17 Dec 2004, 04:17   #1 (permalink)
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Default influence of the ethereals

why is it that the ethereals can lead the tau the way they do? The codex really doesn't answer it, and it seems strange how much of an influence they have over the other tau. How is it that they can order a tau to kill himself? Where did the ethereals come from? (read the codex)

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Old 17 Dec 2004, 04:31   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

Well some ideas that I have seen include some form of mind control or chemical calming. Like the Etherials have a biological advantage in that they have some form of secreted scent maybe or escence that calms, and sways others. Or perhaps that they have a minor psychic control over the other Tau. Just ideas but it is probably something biological.
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Old 17 Dec 2004, 06:17   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

thats one of the mysteries GW like to leave in 40k : "just like is Ahra the falllen pheonix the creator of the Incubi?" but GW describe it as a "commanding prescence" there are various theries as to what it means but none can be proved or disproved.
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Old 18 Dec 2004, 00:07   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

Anyone read Fire Warrior? from that it appears that ethereals have some sort of psychic influence on other tau..
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Old 18 Dec 2004, 20:08   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

In the codex it mentions that they might have either pheromone based or latent psychic control over the other castes. Also the Ethereals first appeared when the fire caste (plain dwellers) and air caste (air tau) sieged the fortress-city of the earth caste (builder tau).

Is there any other books that go on about the tau, and if so do you know where you can get them from?
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Old 18 Dec 2004, 20:41   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

The thing that really bugs me is; wouldn't the tau scientists notice how the ethereals were commanding the other tau? If it was pheromone based, wouldn't they notice it? If it was psychic, it could get past the scientists (who don't know what psychic powers are) but tau were specifically noted as having no psychic powers whatsoever. Someone who's read the fluff might have a better idea, but I haven't.
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Old 18 Dec 2004, 21:59   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

Ah but the Etherials are mysterious and because much of the fluff is from an imperial stand point such general descriptions of Tau are probably not taking Etherials into consideration. The Etherials may be very different from the other Tau even more so than each individual caste is from each other. The Etherials may have Psychic presence or they dont need Warp presence to use minor psyionics.
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Old 19 Dec 2004, 07:52   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

from a fluff point of veiw to the warp the Tau simply dont exist, they dont register in the warp and thus cannot develop psychic powers, for this reason I feel that the pheremone assumption is the best.

the easiest way to assume why the Tau scientists havent noticed a pheremonal responce yet is that they cant prove it.
it would be like a christian walking up to jesus and saying "can I have a peice of you to find out what makes you so great?"
not something a christian is likeley to do.
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Old 21 Dec 2004, 20:30   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

Pheromones are easily dismissed. They can only influence individuals in very close proximity to the Ethereal. So an Ethereal giving an order over radio or telescreen would have no more influence than a member of the Water Caste.

My own theory relies on several overlapping factors. These are:

1. social conditioning. Social behavior can be more regimented given the Tau's caste-based system and genetic breeding programs (no inter-caste breeding) The Aun caste is seen as innate leaders just as a Fire Caste member is seen as an expert/potential expert in combat.

2. biology. Physiological attributes make the Ethereal different from other castes. Perhaps an Aun has the attributes to be an effective leader such as many human charismatic leaders exhibit. I think this is where the pheromone theory comes from, but I just don't buy that as a mechanism. A look at animal social structure might be of benefit here.

3. unexplained. My personal theory is that Tau Ethereals somehow exude a calming feeling of reassurance. How this is done I don't know. I believe it is a sort of warp-dampening projection of some sort. IOW, it reduces emotional extremes, reinforcing Freud's ego at the expense of the id and to a lesser extent, the superego. I don't think this is as important as the previous 2 factors, but it would explain the reactions of the warring factions during the Mont'au (sp) when the Auns first appeared. As time goes on the biological and social conditioning increase their hold on the Tau individual.

The Tau self-sacrifice is simply Imperial propaganda.

cheers!
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Old 21 Dec 2004, 21:20   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: influence of the ethereals

lol, you explained effects of pheremonal intoxication there Dal'yth Dude.

#1 - the conditioning is a result of the years of instant obediance given to the etherals, so much that it has become a stigma that etherals are obeyed.

#2 - the physical attribute would be the gland(or other apparatus) that secretes the pheremobes

#3 - the calming effects could be akin to the effects of certain drugs on humans, the pheremones simply produce a claming compulsion to obey.

however nothing can be proven till GW gives us more info.
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