The Demiurg appear to have no homeworld, or at least have abandoned it in favour of spacecraft [Needs Citation]. They are known to avoid Imperial space unless invited in, making them a very uncommon sight 1, and are described as defensively-hostile and non-militaristic 2. Though the number of sightings in the Ultima Segmentum has increased over recent centuries.1
The Demiurg are organised into "Brotherhoods", though any further information on a Brotherhood is unknown beyond the rumours from Rogue Traders that one Brotherhood is typically present upon a Bastion Class Vessel and two to three upon on a Stronghold Class Vessel1. At least two brotherhoods, the Srry'Tok and Thurm, are known to have joined the Tau Empire [Needs Citation].
The Demiurg have a high level of technology invested in their vessels as they are required to perform a number of tasks: Stronghold-class vessels for instance are used as factories, processing units and as a base for mining fleets, while the Bastion-class vessels are often configured for use in asteroid mining. These vessels are largely automated and use electro-magnetic fields to scoop up interstellar hydrogen, which is then compressed inside the vessel and ejected towards the rear, creating a form of ram-jet engine. The engines are relatively slow in comparison to Imperial technology, however the complex shielding the system requires and the beneficial side-effects of its use are as of yet still unfathomed by the Adeptus Mechanicus.1
A known tool is the Demiurg survey glass which is a penetrative visual tool used for mineral detection of up to 2km depths.2
Aside from the development of ionic weapons, the Demiurg appear to remodel a lot of their weaponry from technology already developed for use in resource gathering and manufacturing. Two examples of this on board their spacecraft are the Cutting Beam, which appears to have been adapted from high powered lasers used to mine asteroids, and automated mining machines, which, once reconfigured, are launched as attack craft against enemy ships.1
Inspiration and Etymology
It is frequently suggested (and often assumed) that the Demiurg are the attempt to reintroduce the Squat race that was removed from the game for reasons of the company, or rather as an attempt to reintroduce the 'space dwarf' image into the game. The Demiurg have notable traits shared with the typical Dwarf stereotype, although they are not explicitly described as being like dwarfs. For example they are avid miners, expert traders, in advance of humans (technologically at least) and apparently bear a particular hatred for goblinoids (which are represented by Orkoids in the 40k universe).
The term 'Demiurg' is derived from the ancient Greek word demiourgos meaning 'artisan' or 'craftsman' and the Roman philosophical concept of a demiurge (a divine creator). This name is given in some belief systems (most notably Gnosticism) to a deity that created the physical universe. It is therefore befitting that such a race be expert creators. The name also sounds a little like it could mean 'half-man', resonating with the Demiurgs' short stature.
There are also clear similarities between the Demiurg and the Bentusi from the Homeworld series of computer games; both races are almost entirely spacebound, with no home planets, and both the Bentusi and Demiurg sell other races Ion Cannon technology. Furthermore, in the Tau language, the Demiurg are known as "Bentu'sin", which translates as 'wise-gifted ones'. This connection may not be surprising, as Homeworld was developed by Relic Entertainment, the developers behind Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War.
- 1: To Unite the Stars: Tau Vessels, p.109-111. Battlefleet Gothic Resources (site accessed 2009.11.01)
- 2: Xenology
- 3: Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), p.26
- New Threat Alert, by Andy Chambers, from Battlefleet Gothic Magazine. http://us.games-workshop.com/games/bfg/downloads/assets/Demiurg.pdf. (site is no longer active, site accessed 2006.02.20)
- Post on Specialist Games Epic forum, by Jervis Johnson (6th post down). http://forums.specialist-games.com/epic/forum_b/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=2532&whichpage=3]. (site is no longer active, site accessed 2006.02.20)