Six thousand years?! And other GoMo fluff questions

Apr 10, 2017
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G'day all,

I'm reading through the background for Gorkamorka properly for the first time in years, and loving it ... but there are a few things bothering me. I'm sure this has all been discussed and rehashed endlessly over the years, but I have a few wild speculations / ideas for fluff embellishments that you might find of interest.


1. Has it really been six thousand years since the space hulk crashed and brought down the Eternal Vigilance (in M35)? That's nearly as long as the entire recorded history of the Warhammer Fantasy world since Chaos happened! And yet in all that time the small Ork society on Angelis has remained more or less static?

I can believe a few centuries, maybe even a thousand years, but six millennia strains my suspension of disbelief. Surely all the scrap would long since have been gathered up by now?

It does make the Diggas' loss of knowledge and regression to barbarism more believable ... but that usually doesn't take long in most post-apocalyptic fiction.

(What I could buy is some kind of repeated cycle of apocalypses, in which Gorkamorka is destroyed before it's finished over and over again, and the Orks have to restart from scratch each time, forgetting that they've had to do so many times before. Something like 'Nightfall' by Isaac Asimov, or the movie Pitch Black with Vin Diesel. After all, the 'fings from da pyramids' only come out at night, but what if there's a total eclipse of both suns every thousand years or so and it stays dark for days ...?)


2. Where do the Orks get all their vehicle fuel?

(A good excuse for a really 'uge trukk transportin' da guzzoline across the desert in proper Mad Max style ... which I know has been done, of course. But I'm picturing a number of big rigs driving back and forth along well-established routes, under da protection of da Meks so it's taboo ter attack 'em - possibly a way to get an 'Outlaw' mechanic into the game? Maybe they employ Diggas as drivers (a la War Boys from Fury Road), because Ork drivers behind the wheel of such a powerful machine can't resist the temptation to go off-mission and smash it into a rival mob's fort or blow it up in da most spectacular kaboom ever.)


3. Where does the name 'Magod' come from? Is it a corruption of 'Machine God'? (It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure that out ...) Or is is a reference to Magellan, the guy who led the expedition to the surface? Or both?


4. Did the Necron presence on the planet somehow bring down the space hulk / draw it out of the warp? It seems to be implied that the planet was 'powering up' to do something just before the disaster, but it's ambiguous.

(Is it possible that the Necrons created a permanent 'sargasso sea' effect to bring down any pesky ships snooping around? And/or the warp storms surrounding the planet have prevented Gorkamorka from departing for all these years? Meaning the Orks are trying to do the impossible--they literally can't leave? Do any of the Meks know this? The Muties might have figured it out ...)


5. What's the social position of Digga women? Diggas try to imitate Orks ... but Orks have no females.

(I have a few ideas about this but I'd like to hear other opinions first.)


Feel free ter point an' laugh at me stoopid yoof questions.
 

Ben_S

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1. Has it really been six thousand years since the space hulk crashed and brought down the Eternal Vigilance (in M35)? That's nearly as long as the entire recorded history of the Warhammer Fantasy world since Chaos happened! And yet in all that time the small Ork society on Angelis has remained more or less static?

Maybe 6,000 years is too long, but I don't find it so hard to imagine ork society being static.

2. Where do the Orks get all their vehicle fuel?

Don't they get fuel of some kind from squigs? I'm not sure whether that's all that they use though.

3. Where does the name 'Magod' come from? Is it a corruption of 'Machine God'?

Yes. In Digganob, I believe it says something like Ma... god. Unless I'm thinking of the Eter... vigila... bit.
 

Flamekebab

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I'm reading through the background for Gorkamorka properly for the first time in years, and loving it ... but there are a few things bothering me. I'm sure this has all been discussed and rehashed endlessly over the years, but I have a few wild speculations / ideas for fluff embellishments that you might find of interest.
Actually... it hasn't. Weirdly enough there's barely ever been much discussion of Gorkamorka's lore online. I scoured every forum, mailing list, and Geocities site I could find over the years. Most are now long gone but while they were up I read 'em. It's one of the things that most disappointed me as I love this stuff!

So let's get to it!
1. Has it really been six thousand years since the space hulk crashed and brought down the Eternal Vigilance (in M35)?
Where does six thousand years come from?

There is no specific "present day" for Gorkamorka's narrative. There's an order of things that have happened but it's not set in a specific year. It also means that campaigns can be set whenever players want (true of 40K in general).

2. Where do the Orks get all their vehicle fuel?
Their vehicles are gas powered. Not as in "gasoline" (British game - we'd say petrol if that's what was meant) but as in the one after liquid. Presumably something like methane derived from biogas. Check out page 93 of Da Uvver Book - top of the right column. Gas pressure is mentioned.

That isn't to say that they couldn't use crude oil related stuff. Angelis has tar pits after all!

3. Where does the name 'Magod' come from? Is it a corruption of 'Machine God'?
Yep. Took me a while too 😅
Eternal Vigilance brought Adeptus Mechanicus explorators to Angelis.

4. Did the Necron presence on the planet somehow bring down the space hulk / draw it out of the warp? It seems to be implied that the planet was 'powering up' to do something just before the disaster, but it's ambiguous.
There's no canonical answer that I'm aware of. Speculate wildly!

5. What's the social position of Digga women? Diggas try to imitate Orks ... but Orks have no females.
Arguably Orks don't have males either, but I take your meaning.

The boring answer is that the target audience for the game was male and it was the '90s. It's presumably why they don't get mentioned at all. I've seen people field Digga women and these days there's plenty more in the way of post-apocalyptic women in pop culture. Not that there wasn't any at all before but we're slowly getting there in terms of representation.

There's no inherent reason for appropriated Ork culture to be sexist though - as you say, Orks don't have sex or gender. Diggas copying them would have no sexism to copy as that's not inherent to Ork Kultur.

Oh and while I remember - I know someone who has cosplayed as a Digga! (People thought she was trying to be an Ork, so I suppose she succeeded!)
UE26Ely.jpg
 

Punktaku

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While I could see ork society staying static and humans degenerating, over 6000 years I’d say the humans probably would have re-evolved into a different society (compare modern society to 4000 BC society).

As for fuel; I kinda imagined them harvesting Prometheum from the planet somehow. But it’s fun to imagine the orks feeding special mushrooms to Grots or Squigs so they pee burnable fuel. Would help explain all the Grots in some crews.

Our own @Kon-rad has been sculpting digga women. You should totally check out his thread and gallery.
 
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Trafalgar Law

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I'm pretty sure it was mentioned somewhere (might have been in a white dwarf) that the fuel is made from fungus, so presumably some sort of biogas maybe with bioethanol for the thrusters. One scenario definitely mentions needing to build up pressure before you csn use the gas engines.
 
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In Digganob, I believe it says something like Ma... god. Unless I'm thinking of the Eter... vigila... bit.

It's 'Eter ... vigila ...' (the spaceship's name).

Actually... it hasn't. Weirdly enough there's barely ever been much discussion of Gorkamorka's lore online. I scoured every forum, mailing list, and Geocities site I could find over the years. Most are now long gone but while they were up I read 'em. It's one of the things that most disappointed me as I love this stuff!

Here's one I managed to dig up the other night: I saw a fascinating comment on Penny Arcade, circa 2007, suggesting that the ancestors of the Diggas may have inadvertently a) woken up the Necrons to bring them into 40K (because this was their first appearance in a game), and b) doomed the entirety of mankind throughout the galaxy to be killed off / harvested. After all, the Wreckers made some kind of deal so they wouldn't be killed. Was it something like, "You can have the others if you leave us alone"? Maybe the Necrons interpreted 'others' to mean 'all other humans everywhere' ... oops ...

Incidentally, one of my favourite bits of fluff for Gorkamorka isn't in the books at all, but in the preview for the game in White Dwarf 213. ('In Da Beginning' by Rick Priestley--the article about the old Ork telling the story to a bunch of yoofs around a campfire.)

Breaking the fourth wall for a moment, I've often found it interesting that Gorkamorka marks the beginning of the 'new' Ork visual style (the Brian Nelson gorilla-hulk physique, the desert landscape and scrap/junkyard aesthetic, etc) ... but the Orks' personality is still very much the laid-back and cheerful 2nd ed style. They aren't relentlessly grimdark and savage like they became from 3rd edition 40K onward. 2nd ed Orks love to fight, yes, but from 3rd ed onward they do nothing but fight, if that makes sense.

Where does six thousand years come from?

There is no specific "present day" for Gorkamorka's narrative. There's an order of things that have happened but it's not set in a specific year. It also means that campaigns can be set whenever players want (true of 40K in general).

That's true, but I guess I assume that unless otherwise specified the game takes place in the 41st millennium.

There's also the implied awakening of the Necrons going on, which doesn't happen until the late 41st millennium in the 40K game proper.

Their vehicles are gas powered. Not as in "gasoline" (British game - we'd say petrol if that's what was meant) but as in the one after liquid. Presumably something like methane derived from biogas. Check out page 93 of Da Uvver Book - top of the right column. Gas pressure is mentioned.

That isn't to say that they couldn't use crude oil related stuff. Angelis has tar pits after all!

The 'gas' engines did give me pause--I doubted Poms would call it that, though I'm sure there's a joke in there about Americanisms (like Skid Row, which I'm pretty sure is a North American term).

So the vehicles may well be powered by squig flatulence? Seems legit.

Good point about the tar pits!
The boring answer is that the target audience for the game was male and it was the '90s. It's presumably why they don't get mentioned at all. I've seen people field Digga women and these days there's plenty more in the way of post-apocalyptic women in pop culture. Not that there wasn't any at all before but we're slowly getting there in terms of representation.

It's certainly in keeping with the determinedly masculine ethos of Warhammer ("Girls? What are girls?"), but it struck me as odd that there wasn't even a quick mention anywhere.

I suppose it's possible that Diggas didn't have many/any females in the original exploration team that was buried, and they have some kind of cloning machine instead that only produces males. They were techy Ad-Mech after all.

However ...

There's no inherent reason for appropriated Ork culture to be sexist though - as you say, Orks don't have sex or gender. Diggas copying them would have no sexism to copy as that's not inherent to Ork Kultur.

True, but there's plenty of precedent for humie culture to be sexist! Besides, that might lead in interesting directions fluffwise.

Also, Orks do have a concept of 'gurly' things, which they're contemptuous of. Maybe the Orks on Angelis got that from the Diggas?


Here's an idea I've been toying with (though Kon-rad may already have proposed something similar):

Digga men are embarrassed by the fact that they need women to reproduce, and that such things as love and romance and sex exist at all. Their idols, the Orks, have no desire for or need of such things, and mock them as 'gurly'.

Many Digga tribes--though not all--deal with this shame by hiding women away in the tunnels and forbidding them to ever go Upside.

Obviously this restriction annoys the more adventurous and rebellious girls.

Over the years enough girls and women have run away from the Digga tunnels to form a new tribe, or several tribes, in exile somewhere, banding together for mutual protection. Effectively they're the amazons of Angelis (while also blatantly ripping off the Rebel Grots in terms of backstory, being exiles, ahem). Such all-female Digga mobs have proved themselves 'ard enough that the Orks no longer call them 'gurls', but give them a name of grudging respect: Diggachix.

(In game mechanic terms, if they're just a regular 'counts as Digga' mob using the standard list, they would need to live somewhere as dangerous yet tek-rich as the pyramids for the post-battle sequence to make sense. Hmm... maybe Gulkartslag, full of rich scrap pickings but also deadly sandgulpers? Maybe their shamans have figured out a way to keep them (relatively) safe from the creatures and live in (relative) harmony. Possibly there's even some Fremen-style sandgulper taming and riding going on. They might not have Wreckers--instead the shamans might be in charge. Hmm ...)

The above speculation is just idle nonsense and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the only proxy models I have for Diggas are metal Necromunda Escher. ;)


Oh and while I remember - I know someone who has cosplayed as a Digga! (People thought she was trying to be an Ork, so I suppose she succeeded!)
View attachment 149774

Dat chik looks well 'ard, fer a weedy Digga dat is ...

Our own @Kon-rad has been sculpting digga women. You should totally check out his thread and gallery.

Already checked it out--great stuff!



... Wait, I thought of another fluff question:

Where do the Mutie beasts come from? Are they mutated squigs? Or something else? They can't be indigenous life ...
 

Flamekebab

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Lots of good stuff in there!

A literal point of order - when was the Necron timeline established? They only sort of appear in Gorkamorka (Da Necron Rayd isn't canon - it's a fan scenario) and Angelis is isolated by warp storms until... well, I'm honestly not sure of how the timeline works with that stuff. It's entirely plausible that there's no consistency in the lore about this stuff, or that it's a hand-wavey situation of "it took thousands of years for them to properly wake up".

True, but there's plenty of precedent for humie culture to be sexist!
As I understand the Imperium things aren't particularly sexist - equally awful to all, that sort of thing.

Breaking the fourth wall for a moment, I've often found it interesting that Gorkamorka marks the beginning of the 'new' Ork visual style (the Brian Nelson gorilla-hulk physique, the desert landscape and scrap/junkyard aesthetic, etc) ... but the Orks' personality is still very much the laid-back and cheerful 2nd ed style. They aren't relentlessly grimdark and savage like they became from 3rd edition 40K onward. 2nd ed Orks love to fight, yes, but from 3rd ed onward they do nothing but fight, if that makes sense.
I love that there is a glyph for "funfair" (but no glyph for tellyporta!). I've not read the new Red Gobbo book but I enjoyed the silliness in Brutal But Kunnin'. There's a squig called "Princess"!
That was partly my inspiration with Da Town - plenty of stuff there that isn't directly related to fighting. There's a washing line, several bars (one with karaoke gear/quiz night gear!), a slopshop, telescopes, a Sumboy bank, and so on. Orks live.

Where do the Mutie beasts come from?
I would assume they were onboard Eternal Vigilance - perhaps additional stocks of mounts for Rough Riders or part of stuff from one of the minor offices of the Departmento Munitorum like the Pioneer Corps or similar (like the Officio Agricultae).
 
Apr 10, 2017
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Lots of good stuff in there!

A literal point of order - when was the Necron timeline established? They only sort of appear in Gorkamorka (Da Necron Rayd isn't canon - it's a fan scenario) and Angelis is isolated by warp storms until... well, I'm honestly not sure of how the timeline works with that stuff. It's entirely plausible that there's no consistency in the lore about this stuff, or that it's a hand-wavey situation of "it took thousands of years for them to properly wake up".

It's not inconceivable that the timeline is inconsistent, as GW writers often had trouble remembering how long ago the Eldar Fall happened too ... but let me give it a go.

*blows dust off ancient tomes*

According to the 3rd ed 40K Necron Codex, p11, the proper 'first contact' with the Necrons happened in the late 41st millennium: 897.M41, at Sanctuary 101 (a Sisters of Battle convent).

However, that glosses over some confusing stuff in the years before the Necrons got their first proper Codex.

In the original 2nd ed background in White Dwarf, by Rick Priestley, it's said that the Necrons wipe all record when they raid a planet, leaving no evidence that they were ever there. It appears to be the 41st millennium when people finally start putting the pieces together--mainly Inquisitor Hoth when he learns of a raid in the Aphis Sector with an eyewitness survivor. Earlier raids had occurred but there was no sign of whodunnit. (Hoth recurs in Codex Necrons.)

Those White Dwarf articles are a bit messy and unreliable, though. WD was going through an editorial changeover around that time--several issues were low on quality content and proper proofreading, and high on fancy layouts over substance. Besides that, the Necrons were only just being introduced and probably didn't have their background fully worked out yet; the C'tan stuff was yet to be integrated.

Oddly, the Aphis raid seems to have been later forgotten about by GW's writers in favour of Sanctuary 101. That was a battle report in White Dwarf 218, the same issue Digganob was released. I'm fond of that issue, as it was the first White Dwarf I actually bought (after borrowing earlier issues from a mate at school).

IIRC, after their brief and enigmatic appearance in 2nd ed, the Necrons' next bit of background info arrived in Battlefleet Gothic during 3rd edition, but I don't have the full text of it handy.

The 3rd ed Necron Codex (when the model range turned on the glowy green lights) includes the 'report on the alien structures of Angelis' bit of background from Gorkamorka, but I can't find much else.

As far as a timeline goes, the back of the Codex has a map of the galaxy with 'sightings of Necrons pre-39th millennium'. There were indeed a few, but most occurred in the 40th and 41st millennium.

Around this time GW started relying more on Black Library novels to fill in some of the background fluff, so I started missing stuff as I don't usually read the novels. Then 5th edition happened and everything went wonky and I stopped paying much attention. :rolleyes:

Anyway, it seems to be the case that the Necrons only started waking up en masse and getting on with The Evil Cylon Plan in the late 41st millennium. However, sporadic raids had occurred in the preceding millennia. So I take your point about being unsure when the events on Angelis occur. Those Necrons could have been up and about well before things really got rolling. (Got to read the papers and brush the chrome-plated teeth before heading out to harvest the galaxy.)

It's a pity the Treacherous Conditions table in White Dwarf didn't include an encounter with a lone Necron Warrior as item 66 on the table. That was published several issues after the 'freebie Necron' mag, and after the 2nd ed Necron rules had been published in WD. Though even a single Necron might have vaporised quite a lot of the players' prized mobsters!

Incidentally, someone somewhere claimed that the Necrons might have been intended as the Brain Boyz (the extinct leader/creator caste of the Orks). The 2nd ed Necron Lord model has designs on his robe that look sort of like Ork glyphs if you squint. If that was ever the case--which I'm not sure about--the writers had clearly changed their minds by the time the Necron Codex in 3rd edition 40K materialised. But it does make for an interesting coincidence that they first appeared in a game and setting about Orks...

I'll just state for the record that I've never liked the official Necron background in any of its incarnations. Not the Newcrons, not the Oldcrons, not even the Old-Oldcrons ... heck, not even the Chaos Androids! I don't think they ever got it right. They kept trying to make Necrons as scary as the fantasy Undead but missed the mark IMO.


I love that there is a glyph for "funfair" (but no glyph for tellyporta!). I've not read the new Red Gobbo book but I enjoyed the silliness in Brutal But Kunnin'. There's a squig called "Princess"!
That was partly my inspiration with Da Town - plenty of stuff there that isn't directly related to fighting. There's a washing line, several bars (one with karaoke gear/quiz night gear!), a slopshop, telescopes, a Sumboy bank, and so on. Orks live.

Whoa, that's an impressive table! Going to browse that thread right after posting this.

I have a few of those buildings myself but I've never gotten around to finishing the paintjob.


On Mutie beasts:
I would assume they were onboard Eternal Vigilance - perhaps additional stocks of mounts for Rough Riders or part of stuff from one of the minor offices of the Departmento Munitorum like the Pioneer Corps or similar (like the Officio Agricultae).

Rough Riders make sense for the horselike steeds, but what about the larger creatures described in the background that turn the wheels that power Etervigila? "We brought elephants just in case..."

I kinda wanna make a mob of rampaging orks that wanna go hang out at the fun fair and listen to Goff Rock cranked up to 11…
Da shootin' gallery is best!


Now (ahem) if I may go back to item #4 in my original post (cue Sheldon voice) ...

Did the Necrons bring down da 'ulk?

There's a surprising number of hints and clues about this in the official Gorkamorka books. (And a few inconvenient problems with the idea too.)


Background text in Da Uvver Book

p5 says that 'vast gravometric forces tore at the fabric of the warp, drawing the passing hulk to its destruction on the planet below.'
Poetic licence, or literal description of a force that dragged the hulk down?


Geography

The space hulk crashed fairly close to the pyramids and skidded northwest toward them, coming to rest not too far away. With a whole planet to hit, that's a suspicious coincidence. Was some force pulling it in that direction?

(I didn't realise until now just how big Da Skid is. It always looks so small and cosy on the maps. But if the description of it on p5 of Da Uvver Book as being a thousand miles long is accurate and not just hyperbole, then driving from Mektown to Skid Row is roughly like driving from Brisbane to Cairns! Er... that might not mean much to anyone who isn't an Aussie, but that's two full days' drive [19 hours] along a proper modern highway.)


Da Job Pole

What is this mysterious shining pillar of metal that resists all attempts to break or cut it, which Mektown seems to be built around? Is it just a weird piece of the hulk ... or is it some Necron artefact that drew the hulk to it? Like the pillar at the north pole of Barsoom that attracts inquisitive airships and shipwrecks them in Edgar Rice Burrough's Warlord of Mars?


Mutie background (in Digganob)

The Eternal Vigilance crashed at the same time the hulk did. But did the hulk itself cause the human ship to crash? Seems unlikely that it would just happen to sideswipe another spaceship in orbit, what with all that space to miss it in.

The text itself reads more ambiguously, as if the same event that brought down the hulk also swatted the Eternal Vigilance:

"When the Ork hulk was ripped from space and plummeted to the planet's surface, it also brought down the home of the Muties from its place amongst the stars. As the Ork hulk smashed a gouge of destruction through the rocks that now form the Skid, the abode of the Muties' ancestors crashed down in the deep desert." p57

The Muties blame the Orks, but it's not clear that the hulk itself was the culprit. It could have been a random warp rift/storm. But then again ...


Digga background (in Digganob)

... the legends of the Big Blast are intriguing.

"Then the Big Blast happened and the world was thrown into a terrible darkness. ... The coming of the Orks' hulk and the Big Blast are linked together in some way. Whether it was the crash of the space hulk that caused the Big Blast, or the Big Blast the cause the space hulk to hurtle out of the warp it is impossible to say. Whatever the catalyst, at the same time that the hulk was ripped from the warp, the ancestors of the Diggas were caught in the Big Blast." p6

When I first read that I assumed the answer was obvious--that the hulk crashed and caused a big kaboom, i.e. the Big Blast. But the next bit is curious:

"The ancient myths tell of a huge flash of energy that blazed across the sky, pulsing up into the stars. Then the world was caught in the grip of a tremendous quake - the planet shook and the tunnel entrances beneath the Pyramids collapsed ..." p6
[Emphasis added.]

That sounds as if an energy pulse went up from the Pyramids into space, followed by the crash of the hulk (the quake).

Which brings us to ...


The reports in the back of Da Uvver Book

The 'preliminary survey' report discusses the anomalous energy signal from Angelis, and states that "There has been a definite energy surge since our arrival ..." It also says that the surface conditions are deteriorating rapidly and suggests that there could be a link between the two.


Verdict: Da Necrons did it (?)

Putting it all together ... I would hazard a guess that the dormant Necrons detected the nosy buzzing human ship in orbit and started powering up some kind of cosmic bug-zapper to swat it from the sky. The forces unleashed happened to drag a passing space hulk out of the warp and shipwreck it as well. In this interpretation, the hulk crash was an accidental byproduct; the true target was the Eternal Vigilance. (Which makes the Muties' quest for revenge against the Orks poignantly misguided.)

I'm sure this is obvious to everyone already, but hey, it's a slow night. ;)


Da flaw in da 'istory

The biggest problem I can see with the above is that the hulk crashed close to the Pyramids (and ended up right on top of the Job Pole, assuming it was already there and not a part of the hulk) ... but the Eternal Vigilance crashed farther southeast. If the human ship was the target and the hulk was just an accidental victim, why wasn't the human ship pulled closer to the Pyramids?

Then again, maybe it was. Going by the map on the back of the Digganob book, the hulk and the Eternal Vigilance both hit the ground about the same distance away from the Pyramids. But the space hulk skidded for a thousand miles due to being flippin' huge and ended up a lot closer.

Possibly both ships were pulled toward a point below the ground? Necrons like to hide deep underground. But the ships couldn't reach that ultimate point because the ground got in the way, and it so happened that the hulk bounced a lot further after impact. (This would make more sense if the Job Pole isn't a Necron artefact.)


An alternative take is that the ground team, exploring beneath the ruined pyramid, accidentally triggered some kind of Necron automated orbital defence system. But in that case, why was the energy signal already surging before they landed?)
 

Punktaku

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Maybe it all happened that way, with the Job Pole being the emitter for the weapon. As both were pulled from space, the massive hulk’s size knocked the Eternal Vigilance off course, and the inertia of such a massive object caused it to slide to the emitter.

It seems odd, though, that a single emitter could rip a massive hulk out of the warp. Maybe there’s a series of emitters and the hulk just stopped at the one closest to its point of impact? Maybe a ring of them, like the planet killing weapon on the Death Star? Or maybe a planet spanning band of them so the can fire in all directions.
 

Flamekebab

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Did the Necrons bring down da 'ulk?

There's a surprising number of hints and clues about this in the official Gorkamorka books. (And a few inconvenient problems with the idea too.)


Background text in Da Uvver Book

p5 says that 'vast gravometric forces tore at the fabric of the warp, drawing the passing hulk to its destruction on the planet below.'
Poetic licence, or literal description of a force that dragged the hulk down?


Geography

The space hulk crashed fairly close to the pyramids and skidded northwest toward them, coming to rest not too far away. With a whole planet to hit, that's a suspicious coincidence. Was some force pulling it in that direction?

(I didn't realise until now just how big Da Skid is. It always looks so small and cosy on the maps. But if the description of it on p5 of Da Uvver Book as being a thousand miles long is accurate and not just hyperbole, then driving from Mektown to Skid Row is roughly like driving from Brisbane to Cairns! Er... that might not mean much to anyone who isn't an Aussie, but that's two full days' drive [19 hours] along a proper modern highway.)


Da Job Pole

What is this mysterious shining pillar of metal that resists all attempts to break or cut it, which Mektown seems to be built around? Is it just a weird piece of the hulk ... or is it some Necron artefact that drew the hulk to it? Like the pillar at the north pole of Barsoom that attracts inquisitive airships and shipwrecks them in Edgar Rice Burrough's Warlord of Mars?


Mutie background (in Digganob)

The Eternal Vigilance crashed at the same time the hulk did. But did the hulk itself cause the human ship to crash? Seems unlikely that it would just happen to sideswipe another spaceship in orbit, what with all that space to miss it in.

The text itself reads more ambiguously, as if the same event that brought down the hulk also swatted the Eternal Vigilance:

"When the Ork hulk was ripped from space and plummeted to the planet's surface, it also brought down the home of the Muties from its place amongst the stars. As the Ork hulk smashed a gouge of destruction through the rocks that now form the Skid, the abode of the Muties' ancestors crashed down in the deep desert." p57

The Muties blame the Orks, but it's not clear that the hulk itself was the culprit. It could have been a random warp rift/storm. But then again ...


Digga background (in Digganob)

... the legends of the Big Blast are intriguing.

"Then the Big Blast happened and the world was thrown into a terrible darkness. ... The coming of the Orks' hulk and the Big Blast are linked together in some way. Whether it was the crash of the space hulk that caused the Big Blast, or the Big Blast the cause the space hulk to hurtle out of the warp it is impossible to say. Whatever the catalyst, at the same time that the hulk was ripped from the warp, the ancestors of the Diggas were caught in the Big Blast." p6

When I first read that I assumed the answer was obvious--that the hulk crashed and caused a big kaboom, i.e. the Big Blast. But the next bit is curious:

"The ancient myths tell of a huge flash of energy that blazed across the sky, pulsing up into the stars. Then the world was caught in the grip of a tremendous quake - the planet shook and the tunnel entrances beneath the Pyramids collapsed ..." p6
[Emphasis added.]

That sounds as if an energy pulse went up from the Pyramids into space, followed by the crash of the hulk (the quake).

Which brings us to ...


The reports in the back of Da Uvver Book

The 'preliminary survey' report discusses the anomalous energy signal from Angelis, and states that "There has been a definite energy surge since our arrival ..." It also says that the surface conditions are deteriorating rapidly and suggests that there could be a link between the two.


Verdict: Da Necrons did it (?)

Putting it all together ... I would hazard a guess that the dormant Necrons detected the nosy buzzing human ship in orbit and started powering up some kind of cosmic bug-zapper to swat it from the sky. The forces unleashed happened to drag a passing space hulk out of the warp and shipwreck it as well. In this interpretation, the hulk crash was an accidental byproduct; the true target was the Eternal Vigilance. (Which makes the Muties' quest for revenge against the Orks poignantly misguided.)

I'm sure this is obvious to everyone already, but hey, it's a slow night. ;)


Da flaw in da 'istory

The biggest problem I can see with the above is that the hulk crashed close to the Pyramids (and ended up right on top of the Job Pole, assuming it was already there and not a part of the hulk) ... but the Eternal Vigilance crashed farther southeast. If the human ship was the target and the hulk was just an accidental victim, why wasn't the human ship pulled closer to the Pyramids?

Then again, maybe it was. Going by the map on the back of the Digganob book, the hulk and the Eternal Vigilance both hit the ground about the same distance away from the Pyramids. But the space hulk skidded for a thousand miles due to being flippin' huge and ended up a lot closer.

Possibly both ships were pulled toward a point below the ground? Necrons like to hide deep underground. But the ships couldn't reach that ultimate point because the ground got in the way, and it so happened that the hulk bounced a lot further after impact. (This would make more sense if the Job Pole isn't a Necron artefact.)


An alternative take is that the ground team, exploring beneath the ruined pyramid, accidentally triggered some kind of Necron automated orbital defence system. But in that case, why was the energy signal already surging before they landed?)
It's extremely rare for me to encounter something like this.

I've literally never put the pieces together like this before. Wow.
I love it. Ties together nicely, leaves plenty of room for stories, and enriches the setting.

Wow!

Rough Riders make sense for the horselike steeds, but what about the larger creatures described in the background that turn the wheels that power Etervigila? "We brought elephants just in case..."
Probably something like Grox - useful beasts of burden, that sort of thing.
Whoa, that's an impressive table! Going to browse that thread right after posting this.

I have a few of those buildings myself but I've never gotten around to finishing the paintjob.
Cheers! We designed it back in *checks* 2011... Took me quite a while to finish them!
If you're fielding advice I suggest defining a process and sticking to it. Makes it easier to get through big terrain projects!
 
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Maybe it all happened that way, with the Job Pole being the emitter for the weapon. As both were pulled from space, the massive hulk’s size knocked the Eternal Vigilance off course, and the inertia of such a massive object caused it to slide to the emitter.

It seems odd, though, that a single emitter could rip a massive hulk out of the warp. Maybe there’s a series of emitters and the hulk just stopped at the one closest to its point of impact? Maybe a ring of them, like the planet killing weapon on the Death Star? Or maybe a planet spanning band of them so the can fire in all directions.

Good point. The survey report in the back of Da Uvver Book says that the humans did find evidence of many other ... somethings ... that could be emitters, or power generators, or spaceship detectors, or some other thing:

"Contrary to initial estimates, the energy scale appears to be centred on the alien structures [the pyramids] but is not wholly originated from them. Secondary sources have been found in 433 other locations, though there is no surface evidence of habitation and even deep crust scans have failed to detect anything."

It's extremely rare for me to encounter something like this.

I've literally never put the pieces together like this before. Wow.
I love it. Ties together nicely, leaves plenty of room for stories, and enriches the setting.

Wow!

From you that's high praise indeed. 😊 Many thanks for keeping the Gorkamorka flame (or possibly flaming kebab) alight all these years!

Now I hope other people will pull my beautiful theory to pieces and show why it can't possibly be true, or I'll lose all faith in the internet. 😛

Probably something like Grox - useful beasts of burden, that sort of thing.

Oops, yes, I forgot about Grox.
 
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Wait, wait, wait ... I just had a really crazy idea about that whole 'Necrons caused the hulk to crash' thing.

What I'm about to say is much more speculative than the other stuff I mentioned. Moreover, it doesn't fit with any official background after the 3rd ed Necron Codex. But, like I said, their background was in a state of wobbly flux up until then.


The Old-Oldcrons (circa Gorkamorka and late 2nd edition)

From the 3rd ed Codex Necrons onward, the Necrontyr--and/or the C'tan--were portrayed as the original Big Bad of the galaxy and the enemies of the 'Old Ones', who made the Eldar, Orks and so on to fight them.

However, none of that was in 2nd edition--and not in Rogue Trader either as far as I know. (Which is why some people felt the evil robots were clumsily shoehorned into the existing background.)

The C'tan were just an occasional throwaway line, with no concrete plans to do anything with them, and no connection to the Necrons until Andy Chambers (IIRC) submitted a proposal that they were the Necron's creators.

Therefore, the designers might have had quite different ideas about the origin of the Necrons when they were first introduced with Gorkamorka and that first line of metal miniatures in late 2nd ed 40K. Or they might have had no real idea at all, leaving it as something to figure out later on.

All that was officially revealed was that the Necrontyr were very, very old (millions of years old) and presumed extinct ... until they woke up and started causing trouble. They were supposed to be the 40K version of the Undead in Warhammer, with a side order of the killer-robot archetype (e.g. The Terminator).

Now, who else in the 40K background circa 2nd edition was famously extinct?

Some zoggers associated with da Orks ...


The Brain Boyz

Earlier I mentioned the claim that the first Necron Lord miniature had Ork glyphs on its robe. I'm not entirely convinced that he does, but let's go with it for the moment.

The original Ork fluff--before the 'spread by spores' concept introduced in Gorkamorka--had it that the Orks were genetically engineered warriors, created by the 'Brain Boyz'.

The Brain Boyz were presumably the leader caste of the green-skinned races, but were now extinct. In Rogue Trader fluff they were specified as the Snotlings, who got stoopid once the Orks ate all the fungus that kept them smart. In 2nd edition that bit of info was dropped (possibly because the idea was a bit silly), with no details known about who the Brain Boyz were. They were stated to have died out in some sort of plague lasting many centuries.

For a while, during 3rd edition, the Brain Boyz concept seemed to be forgotten or retconned--except when the Necron Codex arrived, and the Old Ones were implied to have been the Brain Boyz.

The 4th edition Ork Codex reintroduced the Brain Boyz idea again, and the possibility that they were Snotlings is given as one of several theories (the plague theory is another).

However, by my reading, at the time of late 2nd edition when Gorkamorka was released, the Brain Boyz were
a) still very much a part of the background, and
b) *not* implied to be Snotlings.

They were just extinct--thanks to plague, according to Ork legends.


Meanwhile, here's a curious fact: In early 3rd edition, there was a get-you-by 'Chapter Approved' army list for the Necrons while their codex was still years away. In that article, the brief bit of background mentioned that the Necrons either died out or went dormant in order to survive a great galactic plague or 'bio-meltdown'. (I don't have the article with me right now so I'm quoting from memory.)

(NB: This 'ancient plague' concept was clarified later in 3rd edition as an 'Enslaver plague' of psychic horrors from the warp, rather than a disease. However, I don't know if that was the original Rogue Trader intention.)


Now suppose it's 1997, the year Gorkamorka is released. There's nothing in the background--not even in the writer's own heads--about some ancient War in Heaven with the C'tan, or the Necrons being their servants, or the Necrons being the ancient foes of the Orks' creators the Old Ones. That's a retcon still years away.

What we did have, as far as I'm aware, was:

a) an extinct race who once ruled the Orks, called the Brain Boyz, who died out in a galactic plague
b) an extinct race called the Necrontyr, with a leader model supposedly bearing Ork glyphs on his robe, who died out in a galactic plague
c) the not-quite-first mention* of the Necrontyr in a game called Gorkamorka, about Orks on a dead world with Necrontyr ruins.

That's a bit ... coincidental.

(*I think the actual first mention of the Necrontyr was a White Dwarf battle report featuring the Eldar, which included some background fluff about the sleeping 'Shining Ones'. I can't remember which issue it was, though.)


Wot's dis got ter do wiv Gorkamorka?

OK. Now let's go back to the business of the space hulk crashing on Gorkamorka.

I suggested that the Necrons made it crash--possibly by accident if they were aiming at the Eternal Vigilance. I suggested that they used some kind of force that physically dragged or attracted the spaceship(s) down from orbit and toward the Pyramids. After all, the space hulk crashed nearby and skidded in that direction. And there's that suspiciously unbreakable shiny metal Job Pole right where it ended up. Da Uvver Book even mentions 'gravometric forces'.

But who, in the 40K universe, uses a force that physically drags or attracts things as a weapon?

Er ... Orks.

They have traktor beams.

Which they employ for a variety of useful applications, such as lifta-droppas (for liftin' tanks and dropping 'em on other tanks when you is playin' Epic, hur hur).

In 2nd ed 40K the Ork army list included a piece of field artillery called the Traktor Kannon, which wrecked its targets by dragging them toward the gun:
"The Traktor Kannon projects a powerful burst of traktor beam energy that latches onto a target and pulls it toward the source of the beam with tremendous force. Even quite large vehicles are tugged helplessly forward ... Solid structures are likely to be torn apart, and vehicles may be ripped open with a tremendous explosion." (Codex Orks, p13)

The Orks even use traktor beam technology to help them get aboard space hulks, as Da Uvver Book makes clear on p6. Regular Ork Meks throughout the galaxy "construct immense traktor beam generators, each the size of a small town. They use these to trap a passing 'ulk in space, then transport themselves aboard with crude 'telly portas'." [Emphasis added.]

The 2nd ed Ork Codex mentions that Ork achievements in force fields and teleporter technology are far in advance of the Imperium and even the Eldar, and presumably come from the knowledge genetically engineered into them by the Brain Boyz. The Codex doesn't specifically list traktor beam tech as one of these accomplishments, but it does seem to be a distinctly Orky technology.

Therefore, we could assume that the Brain Boyz had the know-wots for traktor beams as well. Probably in a more sophisticated and powerful form.

And if a bunch of Ork Meks on any random planet in the galaxy can trap a passing space hulk in order to teleport aboard it, surely their extinct creators could have achieved far greater feats with traktor beam technology?

Feats like swatting a pesky spaceship out of orbit and dragging it to its doom with 'gravometric forces' of incalculable magnitude, perhaps?

Forces so powerful they accidentally dragged down a hulk full of their own distant descendants, maybe?

Hmm ...

"Hey you kids, get off our dead lawn! We're trying to sleep here!"

Yes, it's a bit of a reach. I'm not really sure that I want the idea to be true anyway. (I have my own headcanon for the Necrons.) And, like I said, the idea that the Necrontyr and the Brain Boyz were one and the same race doesn't make sense in the 40K background post-3rd edition. But it could have made sense in late 2nd edition when Gorkamorka came out. There are just enough dots to join to make me wonder.

Or maybe I'm just being affected by spores from mould after the recent Aussie floods. :oops:
 
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Flamekebab

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I would reason that a larger object, like the hulk, is easier to affect with such an energy field than a smaller one. Either that or it's a very wide beam that primarily targets the hulk and Eternal Vigilance just happens to be near enough to take splash damage, so to speak. This would explain where it crashed relative to the hulk.

Many thanks for keeping the Gorkamorka flame (or possibly flaming kebab) alight all these years!
You're more than welcome. Discussions like these are exactly why I've encouraged everyone to keep the game alive. There's odd mentions of things here and there that really fire my imagination but they mostly go ignored, unexplored, or people's exposure to the lore is third hand and missing the details.
 

Punktaku

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What if the automated defenses, not realizing the planet they’re on is now a tomb world instead of an active planet, detected the passing hulk and dragged it out of the warp so that their slave races (the orks) could board it and head off into the galaxy? The Eternal Vigilance had the bad luck of being on the wrong place at the wrong time, and then all the other historical stuff happened. (Crash, slide, etc.)
 
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RancidWalrus

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Mind blown! Thanks for the expose, I had never even picked up on the Necron involvement at all.

Back in the day as a young feller, I always assumed that Muties were mutated astartes, primarily because of their stat line but also because kids love marines and try and shoe-horn them into everything ;) ie. I have precisely zero supporting evidence

This seems a bit implausible to me now as a grizzled gaming veteran. Has anyone seen this discussed/debunked before?
 

Flamekebab

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Mind blown! Thanks for the expose, I had never even picked up on the Necron involvement at all.

Back in the day as a young feller, I always assumed that Muties were mutated astartes, primarily because of their stat line but also because kids love marines and try and shoe-horn them into everything ;) ie. I have precisely zero supporting evidence

This seems a bit implausible to me now as a grizzled gaming veteran. Has anyone seen this discussed/debunked before?
First I've heard of it. I assumed they were Ad. Mech. related.
 

Punktaku

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I always assumed they were crew too. Although maybe from one of the bits of the ship that could cause harmful mutations, such as the engine section or wherever the Geller Field generators are.