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Adeptus Astra Telepathica


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#1 Regis Eisen

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:38 PM

So, not sure if this is the place for this, but... 

 

I know why people fear the psyker.  I understand the horrors that exist when unsanctioned witches unleash their nightmares on worlds either accidentally or intentionally.

 

But how is it that this monolithic institution that literally controls communication between the vastness of imperial space and beyond, supplies battle weapons of massive importance and has many members within the very Inquisition itself seems to have so little political power?



#2 Lynata

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:54 PM

Didn't you provide the answer already? ;)

 

Psykers are shunned and regarded as a "necessary evil", stigmatised by Imperial religion and, generally, at best treated like useful tools rather than human beings. On top of it, they are not as organised and rare as the Navigators, a specific kind of psyker with surprisingly much influence, with one of them even having a seat among the High Lords of Terra, although even the Navigator Houses have to live in seclusion and constantly fear the Inquisition.

 

The various Imperial Adepta are engaged in a constant power struggle against each other, all attempting to gain the upper hand in the great political game. Naturally, this also means keeping potential rivals small, and given that an Astropath is much easier to replace than a Navigator, the Imperium can pretty much treat them with the same iron glove it treats the average citizen. Also, although there are Inquisitors who are psykers themselves, they are not members of the Astra Telepathica, and an Inquisitor's minions only have exactly as much power as their masters let them.

 

(the above perspective is gained chiefly from GW's original material, though - I'm not exactly sure how well it lines up with Dark Heresy, so take it with a grain of salt)


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previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#3 AtoMaki

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:46 PM

Easy: because they are busy doing their job and have no time to waste on political matters. 

 

Also, not all members of the AAT are psykers. It has people like Black Ship crew members and functionaries who are important parts of the organization and still have zero psychic abilities. 


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#4 Syrius7

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:56 PM

Simply put AAT is an organization that has to go through painstaking amount of trouble to encrypt/decrypt/transmit/monitor the messages being shouted across the warp from world to world. 

Psykers also burn out a lot faster than other individuals leaving less room for ambition based on the shorter life expectancy.

 

In short : AAT is busy as **** and prejudiced by everyone.


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#5 Regis Eisen

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:28 PM

While I understand what everyone is saying, surely the higher ups within the AAT are politically minded.  Maybe the status quo suits them, but I've never seen it fleshed out in a way that satisfies.  

 

The Admech has incredible power because they control valuable resources within the Imperium.  So to do that Navigator Houses.  Why not the ATT?



#6 Lynata

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:55 PM

The AAT is a subdivision of the Adeptus Terra, and as such always "slaved" to a higher authority with no chance to "infiltrate" it with its own members. Granted, Vandire was from the Administratum, and we know what he was able to achieve - yet this was done by the aforementioned infiltration and clever use of the Administratum's own control of the Imperium's bureaucracy to curry favours or sabotage opponents. It is much easier to hide political scheming behind red tape and possible mistakes than astropathic communications being altered or simply not passed on at all, for the latter is only possible by direct intent and has way less people (and thus possible scapegoats) involved. Not to mention the stigma automatically being a cause for suspicion if anything goes wrong, whether the psyker actually had anything to do with it or not.
 
Furthermore, Navigators can only be born from intermarriage, making the Navigator Houses incredibly important as a "breeding pool", whereas new Astropaths can be picked up on almost every single world in the Imperium, the only problem being their training - though this potential issue could easily be circumvented by forcing captive survivors of a purge to train the next generation. If Navigators were as numerous and easy to "produce" as Astropaths, I'm sure they would have a harder life and considerably less influence, just because they become replaceable. The smaller Navigator Houses are likely at the mercy of various Imperial Adepta as well, for anything affecting them affects a much smaller portion of Imperial ships, compared to the major Houses that service many more "clients".
 
Similarly, an Astropath posted to some random backwater world has no connection to his or her organisations' leaders on Terra, so why should they care if the Imperium removes the latter as potential threats to another organisation's superiority? They are essentially living in a gilded cage, more tool than human, which surely affects their "sense of belonging" as well. And without your organisation presenting a unified front against its rivals, you can forget about political power. Most psykers probably do their best to retain as low a profile as possible.
 
At least, that's how I would interpret it. :)

Edited by Lynata, 17 January 2014 - 12:59 PM.

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previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#7 Ladegard

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:08 PM

A better question would be why do you think they have little power?

 

Seriously, this is the organization that controls all (or nearly all) long-distance communication in a galaxy-wide empire.  I know the publicity releases say they're mind-wiped to prevent reading the messages they relay, but that and a throne will buy you a cup of tanna.  They know your secrets, where the money is hidden, where the bodies are hidden, and if it looks like they don't have power, it's because that's how they want to appear.  Rather like the clerks in the Administratum.



#8 knasserII

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:51 AM

Slaves were the backbone of the Roman Empire, but they still had very little political power.

 

Construction workers manage our roads, our buildings, create powerstations. Seen the Construction Worker's Guild deciding national policy much, lately?

 

And keep in mind that the a AAT member is lucky to be alive having been one of thousands that survived the torture of the Emperor's testing on Holy Terra. Scarred for life doesn't come close.


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#9 Elior

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:42 AM

Slaves were the backbone of the Roman Empire, but they still had very little political power.

 

Construction workers manage our roads, our buildings, create powerstations. Seen the Construction Worker's Guild deciding national policy much, lately?

 

And keep in mind that the a AAT member is lucky to be alive having been one of thousands that survived the torture of the Emperor's testing on Holy Terra. Scarred for life doesn't come close.

 

It's likely that sanctioned psykers are mentally broken and then conditioned or brainwashed as well.


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