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What is a sanctum?


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#1 TSk

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:10 PM

Just what it says on the tin.  I've been trying to gain an understanding of what a Navigator's sanctum actually is, how it's supposed to work and what it looks like.  Opinions?



#2 Erathia

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:39 PM

It's not very well described because it's only known to the Navis Nobilite, and other people aren't supposed to see them. What I generally understand it to be is a sealed chamber with life support systems so that the Navigator can maintain their vigil for weeks, if not months.

 

I imagine each house probably has a specific setup for their own navigators. However what few things I've read about indicate that however it's set up, it's not set up for people to come "tour" it.


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#3 jabberwoky

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:05 AM

In my experience, the players design it.  They've usually made it a lavishly-decorated, highly fortified room in the spire of the ship with servants who are either blinded or mind-wiped so not to recoil in revulsion at the sight of the navigator.  The navigator can also order any drink he wishes, on demand.

 

It's a room they are very loathe to leave- apparently, the navigators I've played with don't want to go onto a foreign planet where there is the chance that sand may get into their coffee.


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#4 Lynata

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:45 AM

"The most powerful of the Navigator houses have their Family House on Terra, in a vast district known as the Navigator's Quarter, a byzantine labyrinth of ornate buildings, decorated beyond any measure of taste. Every palace is huge and decorated with mighty murals and elaborately painted ceilings, the Navigator Lords competing with each other to create the most beautiful palaces, adorned with the greatest works of art in the galaxy. They have libraries containing millions of books, data crystals and scrolls, and own collections of sacred relics to match anything possessed by the Ecclesiarchy. They own menageries of rare beasts, and wine cellars replete with the products of a million worlds and live in obscene luxury and splendour.
 
An estate surrounds each palace, containing sculpted gardens and ornamental pleasure lakes filled with scented water. Beneath the palaces is a far darker world; the Vaults. These vast labyrinths stretch downwards towards the planetary core and are the sometime home to the strange mutated ancients of the Houses. [...]
 
Open warfare, in a controlled fashion, is not unknown between the feuding houses, since all control vast wealth, large professional mercenary forces are paid huge amounts to serve the Navigator Houses. Some of these mercenary contracts date back thousands of years. The Navigators, paranoid of their rivals, are afraid to be seen as militarily weak, and thus they pay well for loyal service, and failing this, they trade in slaves or penitents and train their own soldiery within their huge private estates. Slave trading is a lucrative business and so long as taxes and tithes are paid, the Administratum turns a blind eye."
- GW's Inquisitor RPG : Characters, Imperial Fleet, Navis Nobilite
 
Personally, I would assume that most Navigators would attempt to recreate a piece of these lavish house estates on the vessel they serve on. Given the extreme prices the Navis Nobilite demand for their services, it stands to reason they could very well afford to fashion their private quarters - their sanctum - in a manner easily rivaling those of the Rogue Trader him- or herself.
 
 
That's not to say that anyone has to follow this, of course. Not all Navigators may be the same, let alone the fact that there is no such thing as a uniform, "true" representation of the setting between the various sources of fluff. At the end of the day, it's up to the players!  :)

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previous characters: Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader frigate Artemisia)

#5 TSk

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:11 AM

Sorry.  To clarify: I'm not asking what the living quarters of a Navigator are meant to be like.  Obviously, that's up to the Navigator's taste.  My question is about the actual control device/station they're physically connected to when guiding a ship through the Warp.

 

The references I've seen are a bit confusing, because sometimes the "sanctum" seems to be described as the Navigator's personal area of the ship, and at other times (like in the Ravenor books), it's just a sealed life-support sarcophagus on the bridge or in a small compartment behind it.  To make it worse, the FFG material sometimes refers to an "oculus", which seems to mean the chamber encompassing the sanctum, or maybe it's meant to be the other way around, and then there are the occasional illustrations of a Navigator just sitting on a throne and staring straight ahead with his warp eye open, as if that's what Navigation entails.

 

So what I'm looking for are some opinions on what the device or control station or method a Navigator uses is, how it works and what it supposedly looks like.  I mean, a Navigator supposedly spends a huge amount of time using it, so shouldn't we know?  Is it some kind of Titan Princeps setup where he's physically wired into the ship's machine spirit and fine-tuning its course behind a heavily shielded bulkhead?  Does he seclude himself in his chapel, meditate on the Astronomicon and enter a vision?  Does he get plugged into a simulated reality in which he and Morpheus know kung-fu?  Or is he just gazing out through an armorglass dome into the Immaterium, voxing course corrections to the helm?  I really can't figure this out and would like to know what others think it should be.


Edited by TSk, 12 August 2013 - 08:42 AM.


#6 jabberwoky

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:46 AM

Try looking at the cover of "Edge of the Abyss".  Maybe that will help.

 

Other than that, I guess it's up to whoever's writing it, or whichever house the Navigator belongs to.  Or just make your own rules up to how the navigator plugs himself into the ship.



#7 Nameless2all

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:52 AM

I don't own "The Navis Primer," but from what I've read there is no right or wrong answer as to what the "oculus/device the navigator guides the ship with" looks like. The Ravenor books are helpfully, but bear in mind that those ships had 500 people to 1k for crew, and not the BFG or FFG RT ships we now have.

 

As jabberwoky stated, I agree that it's up to your and the PC's imagination. Just like how the bridge of the ship is designed, it's up to the GM's and PC's concept. The bridge could look like something off of Star Trek, Star Wars, RT, Firefly, Battestar Galactica or anything else. The oculus could be a Throne located on the bridge (with wires, plugs, IV's, and even a helmet), or even in the "sanctum" of the Navigator Spire, with a vid display (maybe just of the Nav's face) / microphone linked the bridge so the captain/bridge crew can know what is going on. I could be wrong though. For some reason I've always assumed the navigator(s) guided the ship in the warp while in the Navigator Spire, with only warp entry and warp disembarking happening on the bridge for the Captains benefit. Obviously emergency entry/exit excluded.


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#8 venkelos

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:43 AM

Since I so often imagine a Navigator being like Melfina, from Outlaw Star (far too soft for the universe, I know) I could see a room with blast-shielded windows on all sides, and an apparatus in the middle. In this case, I will continue to rip off Outlaw Star, and say that the device is a Warp Sextant (see BFKoronus p.42) filled with a liquid solution, able to suspend the Navigator. Then, when in operation, mighty shutters slide open, exposing the room to a view of space, and then the Warp. Cables might connect the Navigator to the ship's guidance system (I never understood how the control is shifted from the Void Master on the bridge to the Navigator, but EVERYBODY has to have SOME excuse to have the cables every Imperial has), and then the Navigator moves within their fluid-filled space, gazing out into the Empryean with their third eye.

 

The suspension fluid would be supportive, allowing the Navigator to remain in place without getting tired, and might have nutrients, O2, or some fancy, Spice-like drug, if your 40k universe has such a thing. They would have freedom of movement, 360° field of view, and such.

 

In my ship, the base of the Navigator's tower is for servants they trust and protection detail, such as regular Armsmen and a handful of assigned Psylakis warriors. Above that is the living chambers for Novator Volaris, his daughter Asteira (the ship's "primary" Navigator), and the other handful of House Volaris Navigators the ship maintains. Above that space is the Observation Chamber, where the Warp Sextant and other navigational apparata are located, and some off-rooms with maps, charts, and whatever Asteira needs to pour over, in order to plot courses. When she is done navigating, a tired Asteira goes down a level, to her rooms, or takes a somewhat longer trip, followed by her two Psylaki, to the chambers aft of the hanger bay, where Arin resides (as a "special" Navigator, and a Navis Scion, she is MUCH more outgoing among the crew than many other Navigators, like her father, might be). Sorry to ramble, but my RT stuff is not in an active game, so I like to share. Besides, sometimes a description as it is lived in can help picture things better.


Edited by venkelos, 13 August 2013 - 08:45 AM.

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#9 Errant

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 05:18 PM

According to Navis Primer, the Navigator relays orders in one fashion or another to the bridge crew, who then move the vessel accordingly. Be that a byzantine series of levers and pulleys or a direct neural link to the ship's piloting crew via MIU depends entirely on the pedigree of the vessel, the insistence of the navigator house to which the vessel contracts or what have you. Essentially the only rule is that the Navigator can see the warp and use that sight to direct the vessel. 



#10 htsmithium

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:26 AM

the night lord series has some detaled descriptions of 3 different sanctoms throuout the series. granted the NL navagoter is technicly a slave so they are not so lavash, but does give a lot of detail from the nuts and bolts perspective.


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#11 Morangias

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

One thing for sure - if the Sanctum doesn't smell of cinnamon, you're doing something wrong.  ;)


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#12 TSk

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:19 PM

Since I so often imagine a Navigator being like Melfina, from Outlaw Star (far too soft for the universe, I know) I could see a room with blast-shielded windows on all sides, and an apparatus in the middle. In this case, I will continue to rip off Outlaw Star, and say that the device is a Warp Sextant (see BFKoronus p.42) filled with a liquid solution, able to suspend the Navigator. Then, when in operation, mighty shutters slide open, exposing the room to a view of space, and then the Warp. Cables might connect the Navigator to the ship's guidance system (I never understood how the control is shifted from the Void Master on the bridge to the Navigator, but EVERYBODY has to have SOME excuse to have the cables every Imperial has), and then the Navigator moves within their fluid-filled space, gazing out into the Empryean with their third eye.

 

The suspension fluid would be supportive, allowing the Navigator to remain in place without getting tired, and might have nutrients, O2, or some fancy, Spice-like drug, if your 40k universe has such a thing. They would have freedom of movement, 360° field of view, and such.

 

In my ship, the base of the Navigator's tower is for servants they trust and protection detail, such as regular Armsmen and a handful of assigned Psylakis warriors. Above that is the living chambers for Novator Volaris, his daughter Asteira (the ship's "primary" Navigator), and the other handful of House Volaris Navigators the ship maintains. Above that space is the Observation Chamber, where the Warp Sextant and other navigational apparata are located, and some off-rooms with maps, charts, and whatever Asteira needs to pour over, in order to plot courses. When she is done navigating, a tired Asteira goes down a level, to her rooms, or takes a somewhat longer trip, followed by her two Psylaki, to the chambers aft of the hanger bay, where Arin resides (as a "special" Navigator, and a Navis Scion, she is MUCH more outgoing among the crew than many other Navigators, like her father, might be). Sorry to ramble, but my RT stuff is not in an active game, so I like to share. Besides, sometimes a description as it is lived in can help picture things better.

 

Yeah, this is more or less what I was thinking, actually.  Except I don't think there's any need for windows or shutters.  The Warp and the material universe are two separate realms, and even traveling "in" the Warp, the ship itself is still in the realspace bubble of the Gellar field.  So if you're looking into the Warp from inside the ship, I wouldn't expect your view could be blocked by the walls around the room you're in, or any part of the ship.  You would just see the Warp.


Edited by TSk, 16 August 2013 - 05:27 PM.


#13 TSk

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:39 PM

Try looking at the cover of "Edge of the Abyss".  Maybe that will help.

 

That's either a borg alcove or HR Giger's battery charger.


Edited by TSk, 16 August 2013 - 05:39 PM.


#14 venkelos

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:58 AM

Yeah, this is more or less what I was thinking, actually.  Except I don't think there's any need for windows or shutters.  The Warp and the material universe are two separate realms, and even traveling "in" the Warp, the ship itself is still in the realspace bubble of the Gellar field.  So if you're looking into the Warp from inside the ship, I wouldn't expect your view could be blocked by the walls around the room you're in, or any part of the ship.  You would just see the Warp.

 

I see your point. I just have a memory of stuff saying if others were to look into the Warp, it would drive them mad, but then without a third/warp eye, one would be, for the most part, incapable of this feat, and thus safe. If the Gellar field is transparent, just holding in some realspace, but revealing the Warp, then one could have a problem. It also went well with some of the story.

 

[BABBLE AND FLUFF]

In that case, the Passage of Judgment suffered a mishap, and Something assaulted Asteira's mind, leaving her curled up and screaming on the floor. In that condition, she couldn't guide the ship to a safe exit point. "Knowing something was wrong", Arin Trenn rushed through the ship, and was confronted by her guard. With the blast shutters open, anyone else (not a Navigator) who went in would be exposed to a direct view of the Warp, and boned, so the guard wouldn't let Arin pass. He managed to disable the guard (this comes back to help him, later) and forces his way into the room. Having chatted with Asteira in their time together, he knew that he couldn't look, so he brought a helmet with a blast screen. Following her shouts, Arin reached Asteira, and was able to get through to her. Reinforced by his proximity, she got a hold of herself, and translated the ship safely back to realspace (this was her first, and so far only major mishap as a Navigator, as well as the final event that persuaded Novator Daedalus Volaris to accept Arin with his daughter).

[/BABBLE  /FLUFF]

 

So it was convenient for me, and I thought there was truth to it, but I could be wrong; I don't know everything 40K, and, much like me, their own stuff changes with the writer. Being a Nomadic House member, Asteira also very much enjoys unobstructed views of space.



#15 Draggah

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:22 AM

I definitely like the idea of the room at the top of the tower with massive windows all around. The image of them opening onto the madness of the warp is just too cool to pass up. Also think of the story potential if some normal human was to sneak in or somehow accidentally get in when the windows were open. I love the picture you paint Venkelos, I'm definitely gonna use something like that in my games.

 




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