Saturday, March 1, 2008

Long Live the Space Dwarves!

A pic taken from Jes Goodwin's sketchbook.
“You misunderstand, this is Tau space, despite what the Gue’la [human] may claim and you are welcomed to it as friend. We too have suffered difficulty with the Or’es’la, since it seems they wish no unity. We would be honoured to have you fight alongside us against this common enemy. You will find it to the benefit of both our peoples, You will find it, I have no doubt, to be for the greater good.”
- Por’O Dal’yth V’Rok greets the Thurm Brotherhood during first contact with the Demiurg ARMADA 109
Blips on the horizon, and increased chatter over the ether, points to a possible resurgence of the magnanimous Space Dwarfs. Call 'em what you want; Squats, Scrunts, Dwarves, Dwarfs, whatever the name, there has been sightings. Now of course, Space Dwarves have been around for a while, and still are through Bob Olley and others. The Scrunts even have an entry in 5150. I'm talking in the realm of the ubiquitous GW, who at one point had them, then killed them, then kinda had them back, etc. Their latest moniker the Demiurg. That link's got a pretty succinct writeup too. I've also collected some other nuggets on the subject.

From Jervis Johnson:
In the end (and it took years to really get to the roots of the problem) this led to a realisation that we were going to have to drop the Squats in their 'Squat' form from the 40K background. There was little point having a major race that we weren't willing to make an army book for, and their inclusion in the background meant that people kept asking us when we'd do a Squat Codex. Instead we decided that we'd write the Squats out of the background by saying that their Homworlds had been devoured by a Tyranid Hivefleet. This would give us the option in the future to return to making a race based on the Squat archetype for 40K. This race was given the name of Demiurg, and a certain amount of preliminary work was done to get a 'feel' for what the race would be like. At present the only hint of the Demiurg in 40K is the Demiurg spaceship for BFG. However, we do have this race 'in our back pocket' as a possible new race for 40K, or an interesting character model in Inquisitor, or whatever. So far the Demiurg have lost out to other projects, and it may be that their time never actually comes, as they will have to win through on their merits, not simply because we once made some Squat models in the past. At present, I have to say that it is more lilely that they *don't* make the cut than do, as there is a certain predudice these days to simply taking races from Warhammer and cross them over to 40K like we did in the early days, so it may be that the Squats/Demiurg end up remaining a footnote in the history of the 40K galaxy. Only time will tell...

A three-up bust sculpt from the shelves at GW, of an "unknown" alien...

“They are aliens, granted. But if ever I witness another creature so furiously keen to wipe out the greenskinned scum, it could be a ship’s plasma-rat, and I wouldn’t think twice about having them fight by my side.”
- Rogue Trader Ennumerius Skurien
Some thoughts gleaned from a scattering of forums:
Are the Demiurge the remnants of the Squat Empire that was destroyed by the Tyranids? If so they should be recognizable as Abhumans. You can still work with that to give them rock-like flesh in browns/grays. You can make them utterly psychologically incompatible with humanity since they are the survivors of a genocidal betrayal and are probably looking to even the score. Not to mention what did they have to do to survive the Tyranid? Did they have a...patron of some sort? It doesn't have to be Chaos. It could be some sort of Old One technology they discovered or something else.
Change the name. It would be I think highly appropriate to make the term 'squat' an imperial derogatory term like ratling. The squats must have a name for themselves, and it would give them much more credibility. The fact that they were part of the original human colonists to spread out to the galaxy could give you a clue- maybe they see themselves as the only TRUE humans left? They retain the technology of their forefathers and teh memory of them, why not give them an air of racial superiority in addition to their technological one? Perhaps they call themselves the trueborn, or Lastbloods, or Pureborn? Maybe they call themselves Primatorians or Unimans (a play on human). They are the oldest human colonists with thousands of years of isolation to develop a very distinct culture- it would be good to have them as 'squats' in slurs only.


  1. I agree, all hail the bearded ones!

    Thankyou for collating this, it's an excellent piece of reference.

    There is hope yet.

    Thanks again.


  2. Thanks for stopping by! With the more recent Fantasy Flight Games leaked pic (with what looked like Squats) and the Squat character in the Ravenor trilogy (not to mention the Demiurg from Battlefleet Gothic...we have a lot of hope yet!