Friday, 11 March 2011

Right Turn Clyde : Return of the Jokaero

Who you calling monkey? Ook!
With the first wave of Grey Knights miniatures revealed, I thought I'd turn my attention to one of their units still shrouded in a bit of mystery, the Jokaero Weaponsmith. Now I know very little about their place in the new army, I'm not really into reading debates on leaked stats and rules, I can wait for the codex; but when I saw their name mentioned on the rumor web the child within was ecstatic and began to sing the Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy song.

For those of you for whom Rogue Trader is just someone you don't want gravelling your driveway; the Jokaero were introduced in the original 40k rule book as a simian alien species that bore close resemblance to Orangutans (page 197 for those that do own the hallowed tome). Like many things from those heady and let's face it, slightly wacky days, they were very soon cast aside but their legacy has lingered on through various bits of fluff.

In Rogue Trader it was suggested that they may have been altered/created by the Slann, although this is now the Old Ones in the later developed game mythology and appeared to have an innate, genetically structured understanding of technology.

They are capable of tremendous feats of engineering, construction and problem solving; they can literally adapt almost any piece of machinery into another form and purpose. This enigmatic race wander the Universe in large family groups utilising a highly advanced form of interstellar travel which is described as being able to transcend warp space.

Although the original text stated that they had no language, culture, or motivation higher than survival and was fairly clear that they could not be communicated with or controlled; later mentions of the race have suggested otherwise.

In Ian Watsons Inquisition War trilogy, they were designated an Imperial Protectorate suggesting that the Imperium tolerates and even defends their existence in return for their advanced technology. Jokaero Digital Weapons could be seen as evidence of this cooperation.

Later more established cannon suggests a language; the Necron codex stating that 'Artemorra' was the Jokaero name for the C'tan known as the Deceiver.

They've even managed a couple of nods in Black Library classics such as Horus Rising, where Horus includes them as a race faced during The Great Crusade and Xenos, book one of the Eisenhorn trilogy mentions a Jokaero light sculpture; can we take from these that Dan Abnett is a fan of the cosmic Ape?

Whilst in the region of the Heresy I'd like to touch on a more than a passing similarity between the Interex's allies the Kinebrach and the Jokaero, both simian, orange furred with blue/black skin and makers of very advanced technology. Could they be one and the same? Is the Anathame blade ultimate payback for the destruction of the Rain Forests? I think it would be poetic justice if one of the pivotal moments of 40k history came down to a small entry in Rogue Trader, considered by many to be a joke...or is that Jokaero?

The *alleged* Weaponsmith poached from Natfka's Faeit 212 blog

Anyway, bad Esperanto aside, I for one am very happy to see them return, if it is indeed true and not some elaborate April Fools plot. Sure they'll have a Marmite factor amongst players; but their inclusion and the recent release of the aliens of the Dark Eldar Beastmasters suggest GW slowly opening up the 40k verse again. For too long it has relied on the same key races being reinvented (albeit successfully) to keep our interest; this in detriment to the vast potential of a galaxy spanning gaming platform.

And who doesn't want the chance to shout "Take your stinking paws off me you damned dirty ape!"

Pictures used 'The Librarian' by Paul Kidby, copyright Terry Pratchett & Lynn Pratchett & Paul Kidby. Digital Weapon and Weaponsmith, copyright Games Workshop Limited 2000-2011


The Angry Lurker said...

I only remembered them from their famous finger digital weapons but they have potential and that's a good quote from a good film.

Max said...

Excellent summation sir. And I too am glad that the other old races are coming back in cameos... dare I say Demiurg for the next Tau codex?

Bix said...

@Angry, yes I think the Digital Weapons more than anything else is why they have endured. And the film is an absolute classic indeed.

@Max, cheers mate and welcome to The Veil's Edge. Demiurg? Oh let’s hope so, the Squats shall rise again, even if they do need a box to do it! ;D

markeh said...

ahhh, if only they were the librarians in the chapter :D

Bix said...

Lol Bish, it would be fitting. I'm sure you could use them as counts as Librarians if you really wanted to. There are some great conversion ideas to be had along that path :D

markeh said...

I was just thinking the same thing :)

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