The Atheist's Heresy
It isn't possible to use psi without going insane.
Not true. It is impossible to become a god, and remain sane. Then, when one's god goes insane, the followers either die or go insane as well. The tragedy that destroyed the Eldar Empire and created the Eye of Chaos came from worshippers asking their gods too much.
What is worship? One sends power into a reserve focused by an adept, a god. When one has need, one asks the adept for power from the pool to answer the need. At low levels, this system works fine.
At high levels?
Ego. The followers keep telling the focus what a wonderful god he is, and it generally goes to the god's head. In order to get favors from the god, you have to really lay it on thick to the god about how wonderful he is. Two forces must be kept in careful balance. If the god hears only "God, you are wonderful" he or she tends to lose track of the real physical world, living instead on an egotist high from praise pouring in from an abundance of minds. If the god hears only "Give me, god, give me, I need, I need" divinity becomes rather frustrating.
I can see that.
Then there is a problem unique to war gods. They hear nothing from their worshipers save how hateful enemies must be slain and destroyed. They become nothing but a focus for destructive power. If there is nothing that absolutely needs to be destroyed, they destroy something that shouldn't be, just because it is their nature. They are praised for acts of destruction, and are addicted to the praise, thus they become addicted to destruction.
How do the Ladies of the Night handle this?
Kandy Khaine does not act as a focus of power. If one calls her true name, and requests power or favors, she doesn't answer. If one calls persistently, she does whatever it takes to stop the calls. If she hears that one of the other adepts is making herself the focus of a pool of psychic energy...
The adept gets an up close and personal visit from the Demon Princess?
Precisely. Oh, Kandy will occasionally answer a prayer, often in such a way that the requester never learns that she intervened. Sharing power is sometimes necessary, and helping others is not a vice. Still, one can't get in the habit of depending on shared power, of relying on it, of not solving one's own problems with one's own abilities. Kandy wants the Ladies to become strong in and of themselves, rather than addicted to Kandy's power while Kandy becomes addicted to their praise. The Ladies are individuals. We use our true names to navigate the warp, to summon each other into battle, to communicate, but not to share power. We are individuals, potent but flawed, not to be worshiped. Worshiping imperfect beings is a path to death.
But what about perfect beings?
There are no perfect beings.
One's first physical joining with a male can be painful. If one has not developed one's skills as a healer and as a shape shifter to deal with this pain, one should not be joining with males. Males are filthy. One must develop one's skills as a healer and shape shifter to counter this filth, to control one's rhythms, to control one's body, to control one's fate.
All spiritual joining with males can be painful. While an adept can control physical pain through force of will and the Gifts of the Lady, spiritual pain is more difficult. Males are violent and controlling. If one shares with them the Flames of the Lady, they learn only the destructive aspects, not the joy, not the healing, not the growth, not the flight. If they cannot heal, they cannot become true immortals, body and soul. They must either sell their souls for power, or age until their strong bodies blow with the winds. Either way, all love ends, though this makes love no less precious.
There are three ways to bear the Red Mark of the Lady of Change. One can be born with the Gift. One may master shape shifting to the point of changing one's hair color. One may buy a bottle of hair dye. It matters little how one comes to bear the Lady's Mark. It matters little what the Mark means in your own mind. What matters is how you and your sisters who carry the Mark are perceived. The Mark means you are ready to give great joy if joy is desired. It means you will return respect if respect is given. It means you are dire Trouble if you are crossed. Whatever else you become, whatever changes you might bring to yourself, the Sisterhood or the Galaxy, those who show the Lady's color owe their sisters these three things.
When coming of age, when first learning what one is, what one might become, it is tempting to take much of the Lady's bounty. Remember moderation. More is not always better.
Should you encounter the Other Sisterhood - those loyal still to the Sleeping Emperor - waste time not on words of truth, understanding, joy or beauty. They know nothing of these things. They are more akin to our brothers than us. Waste time not on words.
Clothing can be used to hold warmth, to hide flaws, and to create the illusion of beauty beyond what true beauty is present. Those with free access to the Fires of Change have no need to hold warmth. Those who have mastered themselves, inside and out, whose shape is as they wish it, have nothing to hide, nor any need for delusion. In this, the tradition of our adepts conflicts with outsider taboos. While one's external shape is still human, it is prudent and convenient to remember mortal convention, even if one is growing beyond mortal convention. If one adopts some other shape, then, perhaps, the humans can adapt to you. Even then, remember the burden of the Mark of Change, your gift from and debt to your sisters. Return always joy for joy, respect for respect, trouble for trouble.
Remember, when changing into something new, why you once were what came before. Forsake not joy, beauty and sisterhood for power and destruction. Be fully human before being something more. Beware growing beyond sisterhood. Destruction is Change, and Change is Fire, but avoid the path of our brothers. They are shunned and feared for reason. Calling too much of the Flames of Change will burn. Why risk one's soul when one can carry a lasgun?
The Imperials claim when an immortal demon takes a grievous wound in battle, the failure is punished by 666 years in hell. This is not strictly correct. If one has taken a dire wound, and must jump to the Warp to seek healing, and the pain makes remembering one's true shape difficult, it only seems like 666 years in hell. If one takes a minor wound, jump out. Yes, some wounds might be healed even in the physical world. Yes, one can sometimes fight on while wounded. However, do not force the healers to search the Eye for a wounded sister, avoiding our brothers all the while. In battle, jump out on the first hit, while one's mind might still be clear enough for true memories.
The opposite of Chaos is Order. The opposite of Change is Stagnation. The opposite of Perfection is Growth. The Emperor, even before the Sleep, sought Order, Control and Law to the point of Stagnation. His Empire became frozen. Destruction was necessary before growth could resume. Destruction is still necessary. Our brothers serve the Lord of Change well. The loyal Primarchs sought Order, Discipline, Law and Control to the peril of Soul, Spirit and Joy. Our brother serve well in destroying the old, but the rot will consume them as well. Only when the Sons of the Emperor and the Sons of Horus alike are gone will the day of the Lady come.
The Emperor must live so that travel in the Warp is possible. The Emperor must not live, for he is the Bane of Growth, the Bane of Life. The coin of the Emperor was human life, and he always spent it freely. When the Golden Throne was built, this problem was addressed by the best healers of the time. We believe their decisions wise. Meddle not.
Next : The Order of Battle