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PostSubject: Psykers    Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:15 am

Psykers of the Galaxy
Most of the intelligent races possess psykers. Some of these psykers are inevitably more potent than others.

Man
The genetic mutation which grants a human being the ability to draw upon the psychic energy of the Immaterium has become increasingly common since the Neolithic Age. This change is the harbinger of Mankind's slow evolution into a fully psychic species much like the Eldar who will be more intelligent, more capable and ultimately more peaceful than humanity is at present. Unfortunately, this process has been quite uneven and even the most powerful human psykers still have minds that have not developed to the point that they can touch the Warp with the level of control wielded by the Eldar Farseers. As such, because of this lack of mental development and Mankind's own still deeply flawed, covetous nature, most human psykers always run a substantial risk of being possessed by the daemonic entities of the Warp and spreading the death and destruction of Chaos wherever they go. Psykers, although justifiably feared throughout humanity's history because of their extraordinary powers and the equally extraordinary dangers they sometimes unleashed on those around them, serve several vital roles within Society.

Psykers are too dangerous to remain at liberty, their minds are susceptible to daemonic possession as their strong presences in the Warp can serve as gateways into the material universe for all kinds of Warp entities if they are weak or undisciplined with their powers. Uncontrolled, they can intentionally or unintentionally cause the destruction of entire worlds and have done so in the pre-Imperium past, such as during the terrible days of the Age of Strife.

Psykers where starting to serve as navigators use their psychic "third eye" to cross safely through the Immaterium using the faster than light Warp-Drive employed by all Imperial starships. Astropaths provide faster than light communication as their telepathy is not confined to the speed of light since messages travel through the Warp much as starships use the Warp to make interstellar jumps. Before the warp storm changed everything.

Psykers first emerged amongst Mankind in the middle part of the long distant Age of Technology, a period of human history. Since that time, ever-greater numbers of humans have been born with the ability to wield psychic powers, and others still come into such powers later on in life. This phenomenon has been the subject of study, debate, superstition, intolerance, and even open warfare throughout the ages, and all manner of meanings have been read into it. Some claim that Humanity is undergoing the birth pangs of a new phase in its evolution, and can look forward to an age when the entire race transcends to an entirely different level of existence.

Whatever the truth of the matter, it is evident that more and more psykers are being born or coming into their powers with every passing generation.


Astropaths
Astropaths (short for Astro-telepath) make up a communication network designed to transmit and receive psychic messages through interstellar space. When man first developed Warp capability they where invaluable. Without them there was no navigation. However in the beginning they did not know what they were opening themselves to. Untrained and naive. During the age of Strife Astro Telepath fell away as a useless and dying practice. The Astropaths where the first to be effected by the Warp Storm. Most falling to insanity or falling to the corruption of Chaos.


Forces of Chaos
The Forces of Chaos host a great many mutants among their number, including many with psychic potential. Chaos psykers, often called Sorcerers, can perform various tasks such as summoning daemons and unleashing devastating weaponised psychic powers upon the enemy. The Chaos God Tzeentch is devoted to sorcery; Chaos Sorcerers can unleash potent powers and are fearsome individuals, often mutated beyond recognition.


Psyker Grades
There are different grades used to incrementally rank the power of a psyker. Ranked from the most powerful to least powerful, top to bottom:

  • Alpha Plus
  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta
  • Epsilon


The grades continue on down through the letters of the Greek alphabet. Grade Sigma and below are levels of "anti-psychic power". Such people are more commonly known as "psychic blanks" since they cannot be detected, manipulated or affected by psychic means and possess the pariah gene.

The psychic power the top four grades represents is immense. A high Delta level can read the minds of all the people in a good-sized town simultaneously, or crush a man to death against a wall in seconds. High-grade psykers are extremely powerful, and not to be taken lightly. Beta grade is the highest level of psychic power that a human can attain and still be considered sane.

An Alpha Plus grade psyker, however, is a being of almost grotesque power. They are described as being able to "turn a man inside-out with a glance", and "a muttered syllable can turn an army upon itself in a frenzy of blood lust". They are capable of destroying entire worlds sometimes unintentionally.

There is some controversy as to whether this description should be taken as an objective description of the Alpha Level of psychic mastery.

However, there are very few Alpha or Αlpha Plus psykers that can be controlled safely, or even at all. Because more powerful psykers attract proportionally more interest from Warp-bound daemons, many are driven insane, tainted by Chaos, or even become possessed. They are one of the biggest threats the man has to face. Most such psykers are executed, as the threat they pose is simply too great to deal with or control to any large degree.



Witch-Sight
Every psyker of every species possesses the ability known as the Witch-Sight. Because psykers draw on the power of the Immaterium for their abilities, they can see the corona of psychic energy that surrounds every living being in realspace. For sentient beings, this means being able to glimpse the nature of any psychically unshielded person's psyche, their psychic "aura" in ancient Terran terms. Every psyker's mind interprets or experiences this information differently based on the nature of their own cultural and mental constructs. However, the one constant experienced by all is that people whose psyches are riven by the darker emotions and motivations appear in Witch-Sight as degraded monsters, while those of the opposite persuasion appear as pure or even angelic beings. Cambions See Both.

Psychic Blanks are those rare individuals who possess no presence in the Immaterium and thus are immune to being affected by psychic abilities. When seen by Witch-Sight, the perception of a Blank usually causes an adverse, almost painful reaction in psykers, since they do not possess an aura of any kind and therefore register as psychically disorienting.
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