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Sep 23, 2023 2:46 PM
dath ilan explores Warhammer 40k
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There's no more sensory overload.

The world is calm.

The skies are clear.

The stars are different.


Welcome to the Galaxy, dath ilan.


The solar system is entirely new, and even the sun is different.

Dath ilan is orbiting it stably right in the sweet spot of the Goldilocks zone. Dath ilan's moon appears to be the same.

There's no warp storm around them. No planets turned into platonic solids or anything of the sort. No headaches and hallucinations. Self-persuasion will stop producing blatant and instant physics-warping effects. (It will turn out to produce subtle but statistically detectable effects if done by lots of people over long periods of time. In the meantime, though, physics around them appears to be back to normal familiar.

The distant stars, upon examination, will turn out to be the stars around Dath Ilan, shifted around 38 thoudand years into the future, as seen from a place nearly opposite to Earth's placement.

It's peppered with warp storms, some of them permanent. Some stars are missing prematurely.

There are clearly artificial radio signals coming from space. Some sent from different directions seem to share formats (?), though obviously their contents will remain a complete mystery until way more data is collected and analyzed.


There are currently about a thousand people on dath ilan with untrained and untapped but existing psyker potential. A few months after, they - especially those who are participating in economicmagic research projects - will start experiencing some suspicious temptations that would lead to disastrous results if acted upon. They won't give in, and they will report them, and the problem will be controlled and contained.


That aside, for a pretty long time, there won't be any surprises. From the perspective of dath ilan, their only real connection with the new world will seem to be the radio transmissions, and their biggest source of updates will be updates in their understanding.


A new planet have popped into existence in the middle of nowhere.

And with it's arrival, the landscape of possible futures massively shifts.

Dath ilani, given full information about their new universe (or at least galaxy), and a button able to destroy it, would push it without much hesitation.

This universe is easier to change than to destroy.


A new planet have popped into existence in the middle of nowhere, a backwater planet without particularly rich resources or special properties, populated by completely normal human beings (quadrillions of which roam the Galaxy by now), utterly technologically backwards and ignorant of sorcery, without any friends or influence. Without any intrinsically special fate. Without even a single clue about what is even going on.

And yet, in many futures, it's denizens will play a pivotal role in every event.

Mortal psykers with honed forecasting abilities are going to sense the change in far futures. But they, not living in dath ilan, will have a hard time correllating it with the location of a the suddenly materialized planet in the middle of nowhere; and uncovering the location of the crux of this change through scrying alone will take a LOT of time for mortal psykers.


Deep within the bloodied radiance of The Immaterium,

In the middle of the ever-shifting, all-mirroring, foggy and blinking and crackling Realm of the Sorcerer, 

In the center of The Impossible Fortress, a maddening impassable Escherian labyrinth where the observed and the imagined blend into each other,

Amid the Hidden Library, the biggest repository of knowledge in the galaxy, partially transcending even time,

Sits the God of Change and Hope and Pursuit.

The God of Magic and Technology, of Knowledge and Deception, of Strategy and Madness.


He smiles. 



DAY: 0

Population: ~1B

Military personnel: ???

Interstellar spaceships built: 0

Planets visited: 2

Planets controlled: 1

Sentient species encountered: 0/~3K

Major factions encountered: 0/8

Current alliances: 0

Current wars: 0

Casualties: ~130K

Kill count: 0

Transistor count: ~10^18

Kardashev's scale: 0

Chaos Gods created: 0


Present advantages:

- Mastery of probability and game theory.

- Mastery of coordination.

- Mastery of persuasion.

- Mastery of planning.

- Mastery of automation.

- Largely undiscovered. 

Present disadvantages:

- Ignorant of technology. 

- Ignorant of sorcery. 

- Ignorant of society. 

- Laughably tiny.

- Monoplanetary.


Achivements: 2

- I reject your reality and substitute my own. (Edit a movement course of a physical object solely through direct application of belief and will.)

- Arrival. (Get yeeted into the Galaxy of grim darkness.)


If dath ilan were to see this achievement screen, they would have some questions. Not about the screen itself; that one isn't too surprising, once you already accept the premise of a planetary isekai, long range economicmagic run on belief, and planets turning into tetrahedrons. Even without being given the knowledge, dath ilani have been trying without success to interface with varying possible game UIs. Rather, they would take issue with the advantages. What does it mean, mastery of probability, game theory, coordination, and planning? Dath ilan hasn't mastered those, it has a perfectly normal level of competance for a civilization just starting to develop space flight. You couldn't possibly run even a planetary society without those, you'd be too busy fighting yourself to accomplish anything of note. Many dath ilani fiction writers, now with access to the true history of dath ilan, are working on some new alien trade and first contact books and festivals that span a wider spread of potential competance to account for the evidence from their history.

The truth, of course, is far outside their range of projections. It's far too stupid to possibly be real.


In the days following the event, dath ilan struggles to put itself back together. The task is gargantuan - over a hundred thousand dead, of the true death, vast swathes of territory damaged by varying events, transportation, logistics, and manufacturing infrastructure damaged by days of pushing them to the very brink of their capabilities, not to mention the incredible amount of stress and mental toll taken. Not all of dath ilani are like Merrin, able to continue working for hours without unacceptably flagging. People tried, of course - tradeoffs like recovery periods, long term damage, and withdrawal symptoms look a lot better when compared against extinction - but even if they were worth it here, there is a reason they're typically ill advised. It doesn't help that they have other priorities, either; it's a lot harder to put damaged equipment through the proper maintenance cycles when you aren't actually sure the storm won't suddenly return full force and require you to have it all up and running to avert disaster. Still, Civilization is capable and resilient; having survived the events of the previous week, it would be rather embarrassing to stumble overmuch now.

Still, time is something they have, now, albeit not in unlimited quantities, and as the days pass, Civilization's work becomes more and more efficient. People recover from their exhaustion, repairs to transportation and communications increase their ability to bring their industrial might to bear, and the prolonged days without disaster increase market confidence. The last of these is rather more important than it sounds, to someone used to the idea that market confidence is an arbitrary game played on a mixture of shared delusions and filtered reality; dath ilan uses prediction markets to aid in its decision-making, but it's hard to gauge how much weight you should place on the opinion of someone willing to risk money when it's rather ambigous that money will be worth anything for long enough to spend it. They're still not as useful as they were before just yet, but they're rapidly making the climb back to efficacy, now aided by the vastly increased amounts of public compute available on basement computers. The programmers there, meanwhile, take one look at their creations and then fill with a determination to never use them again. They proved valuable, yes, and dath ilan needs to keep them in a state where they can rapidly make use of them should another emergency start up, but there's no denying that right now they're one of the biggest threats to dath ilan's existence. You don't hand over control of your civilization's resources to a loosely bound demon you barely understand if you can possibly help it, after all. (This mindset will leave dath ilan in good stead in the days to come, albeit far more literally than intended).

The damage is not incalculable; indeed, dath ilan is perfectly capable of calculating it. It's just the result of the calculation they take issue with. 100,000 new members of the lost dead, even if split among the entire event period, is more than joined their number in any day since dath ilan first implemented cryonics at scale. When considered in the context of a single day and the lower populations earlier in Civilization's history, it ranks among the worst days in the history of humanity. Taken together, the loss of productivity from those temporarily or permanently unable to return to work, the damaged property, and all the new construction required to prevent further disaster, as well as miscellaneous costs like medical and psychological treatment or drops in market confidence, total up to the loss of multiple years of gdp-in-expectation. Absent the consideration of economicmagic, the path Civilization now walks along is notably darker than that they predicted themselves to be on a month ago. Including that factor, it's far harder to say. After the end of the warp storm, the mass manipulations ceased to function noticably and even promising lines of research came up empty, but now that they know the laws of physics at least circumstantially permit it dath ilan is hardly about to let this prey escape its grasp.

The injured keepers are not cleared for interacting with Civilization, obviously; dath ilan is not an idiot about dealing with unknown infohazards that can even injure a rank 7 keeper. But the amount of care they need goes down, and their condition improves significantly.




Noticing dath ilan's spacial location took less than a minute, and only a handful to confidently confirm. Figuring out where they were instead took longer, a task made harder by the changes in the stars, cosmic background radiation, and a dozen other more subtle metrics. It's a bit of a confusing result; if you were being transported conventionally, it would be strange to move this far and precisely, whereas if their star was chosen arbitrarily there's no reason to expect to find themselves even in the same galaxy. It suggests, even beyond that of the effects seen thus far, the input of sapient minds beyond just those of dath ilan at some step of the process. That they're now in a different universe is considered somewhat unlikely, given how many more degrees of potentially altered results that allows and that they have available other hypotheses that explain the premises, but it's a decently strong minority. The tropes and storytelling conceits of dath ilan are not the same as those of Earth, but Civilization is still made up of humans, and the events they've observed sure are a lot more likely to occur in stories than anything with actual rules like real life. To further refine the hypotheses, dath ilan begins designing a series of new, incredibly powerful radio telescopes and listening beacons to examine this new corner of the universe they find themselves in, and sets to work those extant devices not better served plotting out their new system's asteroids on the topic.


This about the Galaxy: It lives on FTL technology and civilizations in it span tens of thousands of light years, therefore radio is way too slow for any actually important communications. The nearest large neighbours of dath ilan are Imperium (including, more specifically, it's Ultramar vassal-kingdom), the Tau empire, and Sautech dynasty necrons - near enough that they can overhear some of their communications before they completely dissipate, and occasionally with relatively small lags measured in single-digit centuries.

Imperium primarily uses astropathic telepathy for it's long-range communications, Necrons primarily use wormholes, and Tau have to make-do with automated messenger ships. (There may be some Tau experiments with using Gue'vesa astropaths, but they lack numbers for a proper communication network, and have no training infrastructure.)

But, of course, analogously to Earth still using postal system and phone lines in the age of the Internet, plenty of radio transmission capable of reaching between solar systems still happens, in all three races.

Moreover, it should be noted that Necrons, Tau and Humans by no means exhaust the neighbouring species of dath ilan! The Galaxy is chock-full of minor sentient species, many of whom are technologically developed but lack any kind of FTL. Dath ilan has a couple of such neighbours in near-vicinity. And a few more which no longer exist, being exterminated long before by Imperial crusading or Necron harvesting or other joys of the Galaxy, but whose transmissions still echo between the stars, perhaps the sole token of their existence.

So, then.

There may be some things to hear.


Days: 6-15.

In some other worlds, long range communication formats are magically standardized into something like, say, a spellform cheekily called Message. In some other worlds, there are no language barriers, and everyone understands everyone perfectly.

The Galaxy, however, is a huge mess, and so are it's communication, um, un-norms.

Most transmissions come digitally encoded in an unfamiliar format, compressed, and in an unfamiliar language; ~60% of those are also encrypted, with security varying from Vernam Cipher to Caesar Cipher. (Yes, really.)

Some transmissions are just periodic bleeps or something similar. Maybe dead man's signals, maybe help beacons, maybe pranks, maybe byproducts of some technological or magical process - it's... hard to tell. 

But not all is so hopeless. Analog interstellar transmissions are rare, but happen, and in the case of analog sound transmissions specifically, they map a 1D soundwave frequency pattern into a 1D radiowave frequency pattern. There aren't too many natural ways to correspond them, and after the ears of dath ilan are attuned enough to hear distant transmissions clearly enough, almost as soon as they hear the first one of them, they'll be able to hear the sound.

The sound could have been easily produced by human vocal cords. In fact, it sounds like a very agitated and distressed human frantically babbling something, then screaming, and then cutting out.

What an exciting first communication from aliens!

They hear more things!

They hear a few pieces of music, made by unfamiliar but potentially analog instruments and voices. They seem clearly intended to please the human notions of desired sound complexity, frequencies with close-to-simple-rational ratios, and rhythm.

They hear transmissions that contain what seems like language that couldn’t have been produced by unaltered human vocal cords, in languages that sound unlike anything that would evolve naturally among humans.

They hear a strange chant that acts as a perception-altering drug, putting people who listen for a long time into a trance-like state and possibly maybe dealing subtle SAN damage and maybe, slightly, subtly, very subtly, doing just barely unnatural things with their brain activity, that dath ilani MRI or heat tests probably won't pick up on. For weird technical reasons, it doesn't act differently on the warp-sensetive.

They don't hear anything that would sound like an officer barking orders.


Here's an exciting experiment that dath ilan may or may not have thought to conduct:

Take some people who had headaches and hallucinations during the - by the way, how do dath ilani call it? - warp storm. Have them wear blindfolds, and spin them around until they completely lose orientation. Then, have them point their finger at a random point in space.

Do it a hundred to a thousand times or so.

And you'll see that while they are mostly pointing at random places, they tend to point more closer to the place where dath ilan should be, if it was a part of this galaxy on it’s original location 38 thousand years ago.

As if there's a subtle call of some sort from there. None of them will feel it explicitly, of course.

There's also a secondary tendency to point at a relatively nearby area of space where a huge remote warp storm (actually two of them - as the two almost fall into a staight line from dath ilan's location). That'll become apparent with even more trial and error.

Have dath ilan conducted this curious experiment yet?


Thus far, dath ilan has settled on calling the event a highenergy-consensus-economagic-phenomenon, when seeking accuracy. In Baseline, however, this takes up a full six syllables, which is obviously unnaceptable for something you want to refer to in a clear and timely manner. Linguistic prediction markets are deliberating on various propositions for the best way to integrate it into baseline as a new word. Ideally, it would allow for further simple but distinct alterations for related phenomena, is far enough from other words to be distinguishable, and stays closely enough related to the words its current for is a portmanteau for for ease of learning. In the meantime, they use one of the baseline's standard concept-holder words, which would literally translate as lowcontext-simple-nounsubstitute and is part of a zone of two-syllable Baseline phoneme combinations reserves for such purposes.

Even if dath ilan had heard the sound of an officer barking orders, they wouldn't have recognized it. Dath ilan's military has always been able to count on its lower ranks to excercize initiative withinthe confines of the strategic objective, and to understand complicated tactical considerations with only short explanations. They have also had more than enough budget to ensure all of their soldiers are well educated and well trained volunteers, as opposed to conscripting whoever couldn't escape the recruiters. Even so, it's not that the explanation would baffle them, it's simply not where they would put the majority of their probability mass. Dath ilan has a robust infohazard protocol, which in this case means decoding potential alien transmissions is performed by a combination team of keepers and specialists overseen by a higher ranker keeper with no direct ability to hear the sounds, only a computer generated text-based transcription in a keeper conlang. Both they and the teams have regular check-ins with exception handling, also run by keepers, but there is some tradeoff between ability to cordon off spread of information and ability to keep an eye on people in question. Dath ilan has aimed towards the security side of the tradeoff, but they're still on the pareto frontier, and while this infohazard is stronger than most they've encountered it's not outside the range of what they prepared for. In comparison, the others are far more simply dealt with, including the one sounding of human screens, although it is specially tagged when undergoing data consolidation.

That particular experiment is one they have yet to get to. it's simple enough conceptually there's no doubt they will, given time, but prediction markets have a host of proposed experiments with higher expected payouts, from simple exercises of comparing their guessing skills of cards to statistical baseline to refining the methods of inducing hallucination to attempting to communicate telepathically.


Dath ilan has a lot of very bright ideas. That’s what happens, when you have an entire planet of well above average intelligence and a society that encourages at every step creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. These are, admittedly, mostly calibrated to real life, but dath ilan doesn’t consider that an excuse to give up on the subject. Though hampered somewhat by how different their story tropes are, both from the galaxy around them and the minds on earth that spawned it, many bits of genre savviness still transfer, and unlike your typical genre aware protagonist who reacts to tropes as they happen, dath ilan tries to get ahead of the curve. When they’re unsure which curve to get ahead on, they go ahead and try for all of them at once. Even in circumstances as bizarre as these, this effort has resulted in significant advantages for them and their Civilization, and they do not intend to rest in their laurels. however, when modeling across an unknown cultural gap with low legibility, there are always going to be mistakes another group might find obvious that will not occur to them.

Some dath ilani are more selfish than others, but by the standards of other people’s, that’s still not that selfish. They’ve made efforts to curb that genetically, and more critically attacked the problem on the societal level, engineering values of altruism and cooperation at a fundamental level even as they work steadily to remove the material conditions that hamper the development of these attitudes. Even the 95th percentile of dath ilani is noticeably xenophilic and eager to explore the unknown, as others measure such things, and those who choose a career in first contact trend towards the other end. They really beleive in principles like multi agent cooperation.

Unfortunately for dath ilan, the universe they have found themselves is not so kind, and most within it are all but bereft of the light dath ilan considers its mission to keep. It’s these inhabitants, so different from how dath ilan imagines other peoples to work, that see an untrained human psyker opening themselves up and attempting to call out into the immaterium.


Oh boy.


The Immaterium can be described as a layered cake. Being a dimension not only in cosmological but also in a mathematical sense, Warp has a coordinate component of 'depth' to it, with Realspace being at 0, and it's properties radically altering as the component increases.

First, right near the realspace and spatially corresponding to it directly is Warp's outer boundary, more realspace than Warp, where demons cannot even survive for long without additional sustenance and which they cannot casually breach; it is travelled by Tau ships and houses the Webway gates. It doesn't look much different than correcsponding realspace, except when it does. Unlike with other regions of Warp, you cannot travel into or our of this here by physical movement.

Then, there's the inner boundary of Warp, housing the Webway, and within it the Black Library, the fragmented city of Commorragh, and many other interesting places. It still corresponds nearly directly to realspace, but if you know what you are doing, you can find some very impressive shortcuts - and the ancient engineers of the Webway knew what they were doing pretty well. When a tunnel of the Webway gets breached, the daemons are in fact able to flood it, unlike with breaches of the Tau ships in the outer boundary - but it's still hard for them. Outside of the tunnels, it's a shadowy, dark, thick emptyness.

Then, the higher regions of Warp proper. This is what the ships of Imperium and Orks traverse. correspodence of space to realspace starts to break down and shift in time. Travel times are short on average, but really inconsistent, unless you really, really know what you are doing, and neither Navigators nor Weirdboyz do. Demons here live in constant soul-hunger, but still patrol prospective locations in wait of potential rewards. From inside it looks like space, but shifting and undulating in various colors - mostly shades of red and yellow, which you'll see even if you lack appropriate color recognition cells in your eyes. While your mind is probably getting warped.

Next is the middle layer of the Warp, the Formless Wastes. This is a chaotic mess of free-range thoughts and concepts, demons, dead souls in hiding, and various weird bullshit. The correspodence with realspace isn't gone, but it's more conceptual than physical - for example, areas around populated planets and historically important sites are huge, with connections between based more on conceptual than physical closeness, and areas corresponding to empty space are tiny. The light of Astronomicon doesn't reach most of locations in this layer, and almost any ship that flies in will either be destroyed or lose course entirely. It's both possible to traverse this space by foot, as it loses most of resemblance to outer space and in many places has something like ground - except that you'll most probably die very quickly if you dare, and probably not even of demons swarming it, but of sheer clashing surrealism.

Then, the deep Warp. This place is not corresponding at all to the geography of realspace. This is where most demons live, and where most dead souls end up - to be tortured forever by those demons. This is no longer reminiscent of outer space at all - this is a flat territory of an Earthlike planet, for most mortals precieve space as that, day-to-day. Well, it's occasionally Escherian, but locally, usually, it isn't; moreover, it's stable in time. If not for the daemons and environmental hazards and anomalies, this place would be actually safe to travel by foot - and it is, if you are in a territory of a Chaos God who has a LOT of favor for you, or if you are such a raging badass that even greater demons decide that messing with you isn't worth it. (Which at least one person, Kaldor Draigo, is currently managing to pull off.) This is where the influence of the Four is the strongest, and in fact, the territory is divided entirely between their daemonic kingdoms - Realm of the Sorcerer, Land of the Plaguelord, Dark Prince's Realm, and the Blood God's Domain, with landscapes shaped by their essences. A planet that is a different timeline version of dath ilan might concisely call this place by a single-syllable word - Hell. 

Finally, there is the far Warp. Utterly unstable and rather untethered from time, this place is directly linked with far past and with possible futures. Here are the embryos of future Warp Gods, corpses of the slain Warp beings of the past, thoughts unthought and gifts ungiven, ossified conceptstuff of the past millenia, and who knows what else. This accursed abyss is far too unstable for any known properly sentient being to survive here for long, even for demons or Chaos Gods. This place is almost entirely unknown, and entrances to it are rare - in only the deepest cracks and darkest caves of the kingdoms of deep Immaterium, and in sealed mines in the basements of the Four's seats of power. Demons whisper among each other that something or someone occasionally comes up from there with no warning, slaughters an entire demonic village with no witnesses or survivors, and goes back in, without a trace.


Ahem. Anyway.

Normally, if an Imperium citizen with untrained Psyker potential calls out into the Warp without taking any preparations, and their call manages to breach the Warp's boundary, they'll be immediately posessed by a daemon or twenty who are specifically prepared for the mission, and then, maybe in half of those cases, the planet will be done for in a span of weeks. Or in the span of days, if a greater daemon is involved. Soon, it may very well become an arrival point of a Chaos incursion, or a silent asymptomatic carrier of heresy that's rotten from the inside and working ceaselessly on corrupting it's neighbours, or occasionally even turn into a daemon world.

Demons clump up like blood clots around densely populated planets, warp-travelling ships, psyker training compounds, and chronic battlefields, looking for any chance to slip in and feast on mortal souls, preparing amd plotting for it in advance, subtly pushing events towards it, and when the opportunity comes, instantly seizing it.

Dath ilan's arrival have gone pretty much unnoticed even in Warp, and it's low population density and absence of trained psykers, plus a very short time since it's arrival (Chaos, as most other factions in the Galaxy, usually operates on a scale of decades), means that there's no flock of hungry demons circling around it, yet.

The call of a completely untrained psyker, upon breaching the boundary, wouldn't actually penetrate very far, wouldn't reach the depths of Warp where hellish legions await. It would reverberate throughout the Outer Warp, and if at the moment, the surroundings are empty, for a few minutes, it wouldn't be answered. 

And when it will be answered, it will be answered by a more or less random daemon just flying around and minding their own business, not someone who spied on them for decades and hungrily plotted their demise.

However, it should also be noted that the call wouldn't heard by all daemons equally. Depending on the caller's values and currently dominant emotions, as well as circumstances of the call, some daemons will hear it louder than others.

Now, this particular call was made in a research facility, as part of a project to understand magic via experimentation. The individual making it is a volounteer, enthusiastic and hopeful for contact with a potential friendly trading partner. That would allow dath ilan to trade for more understanding about what is going on, for magical knowledge and maps and resources and just things directly desirable according to their utilitufunction, thereby increasing it's power, and making life more enjoyable and safer. Naturally, their trading patner would also benefit! Of course, they are wary of and frustrated by this new universe and it's deadly phenomena, and would love to be more certain in this risky endeavor. And obviously, it might just not work at all. But given the weridness of the past few weeks, every approach is worth trying. Besides, wouldn't it be really flaming cool to contact aliens via a psychic call? Ahem. Though ready for the worst, dath ilan expects a reasonable, strategic agent, if they do contact anyone, and why would such an agent immediately defect where math itself points towads a mutually enjoyable outcome?

So... what kind of a demon would probably hear such a call first? Obviously, a Tzeentchian one. 


Except, by pure coincidence, there are currently no Tzeentchian daemons anywhere near this location in the outer layers of Warp.

They are out to lunch.




Okay then


That Demon Prince's party was incredible! So much delicious, delicious torture! Who shall I service next...

Oh, that's an interesting place to recieve a summonning from! I never even knew there was a planet here. Well, finders - keepers!

The body feels human! The mind... hmmm.

Say, what's the deepest, darkest, most secret desire of my new bodymate?

Uhm. That's....a lot of math?

Um. That's... a lot of very convoluted status symbols??

Who in the world is Reckless Investor Miyalsvor???

W... what????

You know what, deepest desires? How about we wait on those. What's the biggest carnal pleasure you have ever experienced?

That's... an incredibly pathetic concept of "ill-advised". How about... you feel this, but 30 times more intense.

Now, ready to submit to my will eternally for a few more orders of magnitude of this?


The summoner have experienced basic Keeper training. He haven't yet fully processed what is going on, and is currently suddenly extremely high, but obviously, he instinctively resists with all the force he can muster.


Your call was so, so very eager, you know? You left all the doors wide open, and welcomed me whole. And now you're trying this hard to evict me? Well, that's just inconsistent!


The summoner's soul is immediately devoured.

The summoner stretches his arms, as body starts rapidly mutating into a form that SHOULD be hideous, but is in fact infohazardously beautiful. And growing more and more infohazardously beautiful every second.


When a daemon first manifests, there’s a moment of weakness. The same energies that open a hole to the warp and allow them through, also permit them to be forced back relatively easily. It doesn’t even require warp techniques, just good resources and sufficient force. Dath ilan does not do this.

In their defense, consider this; the ways life could form and exist are myriad and strange, even under their old understanding of the universe. With access to economagic of unknown capabilities, that number expands still further. There are all kinds of possibilities for how a first contact could be conducted. They aren’t even sure that something is wrong with the contacter, though their intuitions (and the prediction markets, once they catch up) suggest the answer is yes. Perhaps this change is voluntary, or temporary, or regrettable but accidental damage from economicmagic used on an unfamiliar pattern of biology. More than this, however, dath ilan really does not want to be the cause of a first contact going wrong, to misunderstand a hand reached out in good faith and respond with violence and betrayal. The economagic-sensitive-broadcaster endorsed this, as well; they knew there was a chance of their death, even true death, and agreed it was worth trying and doing right anyway. They prepared the ability to use violence, in case they really needed it, but it’s primary dealers are not currently in the room with them (Also, incidentally, ideally protecting them from many categories of infohazard).

In warhammer 40k, this is not the correct response to daemons, so much so that even societies as blinkered as the Imperium would consider it to be only the act of the exceptionally foolish and Magnus, a distinction which still currently remains in spite of arguments that these are one and the same category. But being along your way is not magic, even when it seems to allow its users to do the impossible. Even high ranking keepers will make mistakes on incomplete information. 


“In the name of Civilization and the Light, greetings on behalf of dath ilan.”


They are also doing standard first contact communication from general principles, starting with sounding out primes, but between the economicmagic and the causal connection to a dath ilani, it’s worth a try to just communicate directly.

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