Community
 
Aggiungi lista preferiti Aggiungi lista nera Invia ad un amico
------------------
Crea
Profilo
Blog
Video
Sito
Foto
Amici
   
 
 

Eldar

01-05-06

Su
Tornei ed eventi
Componenti del Club
Scenari Fantasy
BG Fantasy
Racconti BG Humor
Racconti BG
Geografia 40k
BG 40k
BG Capitoli SM
BG TAU
Officio Assassinorum
Ordo Xenos
Ordo Hereticus
Ordo Malleus
Imperial Guard
Chaos
Eldar
Necrons
Ork
Tyranids
Abhuman
Hrud
Kroot
Necrontyr
Nicassar
Old Ones
Slann
Squats
Vespid
Personaggi 40k
Raccolta foto
The four Chaos Gods
Officina
Liste Eserciti
TYK Style
commenti
Guestbook

 

Background

Biology

Superficially, the Eldar appear very similar to humans, though they are generally taller, lithe of limb, and slim, with sharp features and pointed ears. The Eldar are essentially Elves in their physical attributes. They are long-lived by human standards, and most will live more than a thousand years unless they die from accident or disease. As a race they have a high level of psychic ability, which serves as the foundation of their technology. The Eldar that actively cultivate their psychic potential seem to exhibit a much-extended lifespan as well, one proportional to their prowess. In this way the leaders and Farseers of the Eldar may live for several thousand years.

History

The existing Eldar are essentially a refugee population, the scattered remains of their former strength and power. Even in such straits, however, they are still a powerful force in the galaxy. Once, ten thousand years past, the Eldar were among the most powerful and dominant race of the galaxy, dominating a significant portion of the galaxy and secure in their prosperity. Although there were other races of advanced technology and military power, none were in a position to seriously threaten the state of the Eldar nation. When it came, the disaster was internal. Consumed by arrogance and with no need for substantial work or labour, the Eldar began to pursue any curiosity or desire. Rapidly, cults devoted to exotic knowledge, physical pleasure, and ever-more outrageous entertainment sprang up. It did not take long for many of the Eldar to take a darker path, descending into dark study, instant fulfilment and unbridled violence, beginning the Fall of the Eldar.

Many of the Eldar grew uneasy with the actions of their comrades, and the wisest of the Seers warned that the path could lead only to evil. Disgusted, some of the Eldar left the central worlds of the Empire to settle on the outlying regions, while others stayed to try and alter the path their race had taken.

While this would have been destructive within any society, it was even more damaging for the Eldar. Within the parallel realm of the Warp, the psychic emanations of these activities began to gather, strengthened by the souls of departed followers and cultists. As the Eldar vices grew, this collection did as well, until it eventually came into a life of its own. It finally came to consciousness as Slaanesh, Devourer of Souls and doom to the Eldar, for the psychic scream of its birth tore the souls from all the Eldar within a thousand light years of it. Its awakening was so forceful that it tore a hole between physical space and the Warp, plunging the Eldar homeworlds into a limbo of partial existence. This region is now known as the Eye of Terror, and is now the home of the forces of Chaos. Many Eldar survived the Fall and remain trapped within the Eye on the homeworlds of the Eldar, the Crone Worlds, and are enslaved to Slaanesh.

Since this time, which is known only as The Fall, the Eldar have been a broken and scattered people, lacking cohesion and purpose. The Eldar population is constantly swindling, since no children are born. Why is unknown, but a theory is that a Eldar child lack the spiritual strength needed to shield itself from the raving hunger of Slaanesh, and that the children born just after The Fall were born as soul-less, gibbering wretches. Many of the outlying worlds have slipped to a more primitive level, while the survivors of the home worlds drift through the stars in colossal nomad fleets, each independent of the others. All the Eldar are greatly changed by the Fall and the rise of Slaanesh.

Technology

* Eldar Armoury-- The Eldar Armoury contains information on Eldar weaponry and wargear, including the standard weapon that uses gravitic forces to fire monomolecular-thin discs at the enemy. The Eldar use these weapons in the form of Shuriken Pistols, Shuriken Cannons and a light carbine known as a Shuriken Catapult.
* Soul Stones -- When the Eldar die, their souls are in danger of being devoured by the Chaos god Slaanesh. To prevent this, the Eldar created special Spirit Stones, which capture and contain their souls at the moment of death. These stones are then collected and inserted into the Craftworld's Infinity Circuit, where they may rest along with the spirits of their ancestors. In times of need, the Soulstones of the Craftworld's strongest warriors may be taken from the Infinity Circuit and placed inside Wraithbone automatons such as the Wraithguard and Wraithlord, to once again fight for the Craftworld.
* Webway -- The Eldar do not travel through the Warp in the same manner as other races having long ago developed a much faster and safer method known as the "Webway". This is a system of ancient 'tunnels' through the Warp which is completely isolated from its inherent dangers. It is best imagined as a vast and tangled network of doorways between fixed points in real space, by which the Eldar can travel far more rapidly than most races. However, if there is no Warpgate near their destination, or the one present is not big enough to permit the necessary forces, they are a disadvantage. Much of the Webway has fallen into obscurity and disrepair, with tunnels and doorways sealed or broken. This often forces the Eldar to make connecting stops on their way to their destination. Finally, it is said that the fabled Black Library resides somewhere within the Webway, though only the Harlequins know where.
* Wraithbone is the main construction material of the Eldar, and the staple of their psycho-technic engineering. It is brought forth from the warp and shaped by Bonesingers through psychic power. It is used to create the craftworlds of the Eldar, their tanks and other vehicles, constructs such as the Wraithguard and Wraithlords, to weapons and armour. It is a psychic conductor and so not only provides the structure for the things built of it, but also power distribution and communications. Wraithbone is a highly resilient material, and capable of limited self-repair. It, and the other building materials of the Eldar, will grow and react more like tissue and plants than the building materials of other races.
* Blackstone Fortress


The Eldar Nations

Following the Fall, the Eldar are socially and culturally divided into several broad groups. While there are divisions within each of these, they are the most obvious and clearly defined groups of the existing race (Dark Eldar are excluded here):

Craftworld Eldar

In the time leading up to the Fall, not all the Eldar that remained on the homeworlds fell into the lure of Slaanesh. Many remained, struggling to turn their species from its doomed path. Unable to do so, many of the greatest Seers caught glimpses of the darkness to come, and undertook a titanic effort to save their people. For each Eldar homeworld a gigantic ship was created, sung from wraithbone and so massive to be nearly a planetoid itself. The last uncorrupted people from each world were loaded onto these ships, along with works of art, plant life and animals, all that could be saved. In these Craftworlds (as they came be known) the final Eldar Exodus began, and only barely in time. The psychic shockwave caught some of the Craftworlds and destroyed them, while others were pulled into orbit around the Eye of Terror. The rest drift through the galaxy, their exact number uncertain, as contact can be difficult and intermittent. There are several Craftworlds of particular fame:

* Alaitoc -- Far out on the frontiers of the galaxy, on the edge of explored space, lies the Alaitoc Craftworld. The Alaitoc Eldar are zealous in their guard against the touch of Slaanesh, even more so than other Craftworld Eldar. For these two reasons many of its citizens will at one time or another decide to leave the strict confines of the ship and strike out on their own or in small groups. They will return in times of need, however, and so all Alaitoc armies will have a substantial force of scouts and rangers.
* Altansar -- A small craftworld that had been on the edge of the shockwave, Altansar was long thought to have been lost in the Eye of Terror with the homeworlds of the Eldar. However, there were reports of its sighting and even active involvement in the recently conducted campaign against the Eye of Terror, and doubt now exists as to its fate.
* Biel-tan -- The most martial of the Craftworlds, Biel-tan has made the decision to re-forge the Eldar empire. Its armies contain the highest percentages of elite troops of all the Craftworlds, and few of the staple citizen-militia that most worlds call upon in times of war. Their highly-trained forces are known as the Swordwind, and they often come to the aid of Exodite worlds.
* Iyanden -- The Iyanden Craftworld was once one of the largest and most prosperous of all the remaining ships. Its path brought it into the way of the Tyranid invasion, however, and the Craftworld was nearly destroyed in the following battles. Today many of its sections are still in ruins and the population is spread thin. This forces Iyanden to often call upon its fallen, raising more than the typical numbers of Wraithguard and Wraithlords to aid their dwindling warriors in battle.
* Saim-Hann -- One of the more barbaric and wild of the large Craftworlds, the warriors of Saim-Hann favour rapid attacks and moving battles. It regularly organises its forces into ranks of skimmers and jetbikes, known as the Wild Riders, and is famed for the speed and ferocity of its attacks.
* Ulthwe -- One of the largest Craftworlds, Ulthwé was caught in the pull of the Eye of Terror, and now orbits it. As such it faces the constant danger of attack by Chaos marauders and has served as a bastion against the dark powers for thousands of years. The constant war and risk of attack has hardened the Craftworld's citizens, and it maintains a standing militia force known as the Black Guardians. Its proximity to the Eye has also given it an unusual number of psychics.

The Craftworlds probably compose the majority of the surviving Eldar race, although it is impossible to say just how many this is. They are certainly the seat of the remaining Eldar industry, technology, and culture, as they contain the only vestiges of their original worlds. Most of the Craftworlds contain special biodomes that house plants and wildlife from their original world, and these are carefully tended. Although each Craftworld is essentially independent in its actions and governance, they will generally offer and accept aid and advice from one another. Although not common, sometimes Craftworld disagreements will cause two to clash on the field of battle, though this is always a last resort.

Every Craftworld contains an Inifity Circuit, which is essentially the Wraithbone skeleton of the Craftworld itself. Within this matrix the souls of all the Craftworld's dead reside in a form of group consciousness, providing both a well of psychic power for the ship and a massive ancestral mind to advise and guide the living. With the rise of Slaanesh, the Infinity Circuit is the closest thing that the Eldar have to an afterlife; if their souls are not caught and integrated into it, they will be lost into the Warp and devoured by the Great Enemy. For this reason the Eldar will defend their Craftworlds with a fury and tenacity almost unrivalled; they risk losing not only their home but the souls of their ancestors as well.

Exodites

During The Fall, the degeneration of the Eldar did not go wholly without resistance. Some, the more far-sighted, began to openly criticise the laxity of their fellow citizens, and to warn against the effect of Chaos cults. These people were mostly ignored or else treated as narrow-minded fools and fanatics. Soon the general collapse of society convinced even the most resolute amongst them that there would be no end to the reign of death and depravity. Some decided to leave the Eldar worlds, and settle new planets free of the creeping corruption. They were the ones still untainted by the touch of Chaos, and by now they were few. These Eldar are known as the Exodites.

The Exodite worlds are generally considered backward and rustic compared to the rest of the space-roaming Eldar (and thus are commonly thought to be the equivalent of Wood Elves instead of High Elves), although they still possess a good deal of high technology. One of the pieces of technology they have maintained is the Infinity Circuit, although on the Exodite worlds these are known as World Spirits and exist in the form grids of stone menhirs, obelisks, and stone circles all crafted from psychoactive crystal. Despite the presence of some technology, these worlds are often agricultural, however, and it is not uncommon for groups of Exodites to exist in a nomadic state, living off roaming herds and seasonal harvests. This is the most common image of the Exodite life. Many Outcasts will find a refuge among these Eldar, who are generally more accepting.

Many regard the Exodites a sort of rural, backwater group that is quaint at best. To others, they are the groundwork of a new Eldar Empire on the edge of the galaxy, composed of the descendents of those far-sighted and strong-willed enough to escape the touch of Slaanesh. Biel-tan is one of the chief proponents of the Exodite potential, and will often mobilise its forces in defence of one of the scattered worlds.

Harlequins

The Harlequins are followers of the strange Eldar god, the Great Harlequin (also known as "The Laughing God"), one of the only two Eldar gods to survive the Fall.

Harlequins are warrior troubadours whose carefully constructed masques and impressive displays of mime and acrobatics tell the many strange stories of Eldar mythology. They wear exotic multi-coloured costumes, brightly patterned to represent figures from the Eldar myth cycles. The groups will wander through the Webway, visiting Craftworlds and other Eldar strongholds in order to re-enact stories from the ancient mythic cycles through song and dance. These strange performances are highly symbolic and are considered an important event for the Eldar. The Harlequins will also appear in times of need and fight alongside other Eldar, aiding them in the interest of some secret goal. They are highly skilled combatants who deal almost entirely in close-quarters combat.

Harlequins are, like the Inquisition, sworn enemies of Chaos. They guard the Black Library, the place where all the Eldar's knowledge of Chaos lies, and only allow those of the Inquisition and the Illuminati to enter, and even then they are only allowed entrance under guard. The Harlequins are an enigmatic group even among the other Eldar, and they rarely communicate with anyone outside of their troupes at all.

Outcasts and Pirates

Unlike the other groups, the Outcasts and Pirates are not very clearly defined. Some Eldar Pirates are actually the long-ranging fleets of Craftworlds, and others are groups of Harlequins or Dark Eldar that are mistakenly identified. Some may even be an enduring fleet that fled from the Fall but lost or lacked a Craftworld to rally around, and have since forged a base on an asteroid or uninhabited world. Many Eldar will leave their regular lives to become Outcasts and Pirates for a time, enjoying the freedom and wealth of experience this offers them before they return to more ordered and strict lives.

There are also those that have been forced to Piracy and Exile, however, often for their own actions and choices. Some Eldar refuse to obey the strict rules of the Craftworld or commit crimes among their people, and choose to flee rather than face judgement. One of the most famous pirates was Yriel of Iyanden, a former fleet commander who was exiled for leaving the Craftworld under defended while pursuing an attack on the Eye of Terror. He and his crew formed a band of pirates that worked between various human worlds, often contracting their services out to the various worlds. He eventually assembled a sizeable fleet, and later returned to save Iyanden from the assault of the Tyranids.

Many pirates are far less noble, however. There are many among them who have taken the same dark road as the Eldar of old, and work as pirates in order to fill their thirst for thrill and combat. In general, all Pirates are quick-tempered and unpredictable, traits in the Eldar that surface rapidly once they are outside of the ordered societies they build for themselves.

Neither pirates nor outcasts are welcome aboard Craftworlds except briefly, for their minds are dangerously unbounded and attract predators from the psychic realms of the warp. Daemons or other warp entities can home in to the mind of an Outcast and lodge in the psycho-supportive environment of the Craftworld's wraithbone core. Outcasts are also disruptive in another sense, for their presence can distract the young and inexperienced from the Eldar path by their romantic tales of travel and freedom.

The Eldar Paths

The Eldar are forever wary of falling into the same traps which led them to the Fall. In order to avoid slipping into such debauchery and wanton disregard for life and law, most Eldar take an extremely focused view on life. Rather than dabbling in various skills and occupations, they will choose a single skill and dedicate themselves to mastering it. Their long lives mean that a single Eldar will often master several skills or Paths in the course of their life, pursuing each until they feel they have reached their potential and then choosing a new one. The nature of the Eldar makes it easy for them to become obsessed with their goal, however, and many Eldar become locked into their focus forever.

The Path of the Warrior

Eldar are known to pursue any task they set out to do with an intensity that makes human efforts pale in comparison. When an Eldar feels called to the path of the Warrior, he or she will join an Aspect Shrine, a cult of warriors who train themselves to embody an aspect of the Eldar War God Khaine.

Each Aspect Shrine is led by an Exarch, an Eldar who has found his- or herself unable to leave the path of the warrior. These Exarchs are powerful warriors, doomed to either die on the battlefield, or to eventually be chosen to become the Avatar of Khaine. The first or founder of an Aspect Shrine is called a Phoenix Lord. When an Aspect Warrior becomes an Exarch, they will don one of the ancient suits of armour that belong to that shrine, and this suit will bond to their flesh irreversibly. This means that the new warrior merges with all the previous Exarches of the suit, like a tiny version of the Inifinity Circuit. Here are some of the most common Aspects. The list is by no means exhaustive, but these are the ones seen in more than one or two Craftworlds.

* Dire Avengers
* Dark Reapers
* Fire Dragons
* Howling Banshees
* Shining Spears
* Striking Scorpions
* Swooping Hawks
* Warp Spiders

Although a lot of the warriors of the Eldar are Aspect Warriors, there are many others who don't specialise as much, like Guardians, as well as constructs (Wraithlords) and vehicles (Warwalker). They are analysed in the Eldar War Force.

The Path of the Seer

Where the Aspects are responsible for the defence of the Eldar, the Seers are responsible for leading them. Those that start down the path of the Seer are known as Warlocks, and those that become lost upon the path forever are known as the Farseers. A council of the most powerful Seers generally governs a Craftworld or other Eldar group.

Unsurprisingly, the role of the Seers is to look into the future and try and discern the best path for the Eldar to take. This is done through the casting of Runestones, fragments of Wraithbone and other psychosensitive materials that react to the skeins of time. By reading the throw of these stones, the Seers can often determine what will be the most beneficial course of action, though it is rare that they can discern true results any great distance into the future. On occasion a powerful Seer will receive a portent of some calamitous event, and be able to steer the Eldar away from disaster and doom. With so few Eldar remaining, the Seers attempt to preserve every Eldar life they can, regardless of the cost to other races.

The Farseers lead in times of war as well as peace. On the battlefield their powers of precognition allow them to foresee the enemy’s attacks and movements, and warn their comrades against imminent changes on the field of battle. While less capable of foreseeing events in such harried conditions, the Warlocks will often serve as officers in battle, leading units of other Eldar and helping to coordinate the overall battle, as well as lend support through their destructive psychic attacks.

Other Paths

While the Seer and the Warrior are two of the most visible Paths, there are hundreds of others. Many Eldar will choose the study of an instrument or art form as their Path, while others mire devote themselves to the development of a science or the refinement of some technology. These Paths, while equally important to the survival of the Eldar, tend to be far more varied and far less consuming than the Seer and the Warrior. Notable among the other Paths is that of the Bonesinger; the title given to those that maintain and repair the psycho-active wraithbone components of the Eldar worlds. Also notable is the Path of the Mariner, the Path followed by those who devote themselves to crewing spacecraft.

Eldar Gods

The Pantheon of the Eldar is considered to have been destroyed by the creation of Slaanesh. While the Eldar still revere all the gods and preserve their stories within the mythic cycles, they do not call on them for aid or hope for their intervention any longer.

There are many similarities between the Eldar pantheon and aspects of the Greek and Norse mythology. It is assumed that the creators drew heavily on these when creating the race and their mythic stories.

Kaela Mensha Khaine, God of War

Khaine is one of the two surviving gods of the Eldar. In the old pantheon, he was second only to Asuryan himself in power, and was often shown as the enemy of Vaul. He is also the most violent and reckless of the gods. Asuryan was so appalled by his murder of Eldanesh, a mortal, that he cursed Khaine and made his hands drip eternally with the blood of Eldanesh so that everyone would remember what he had done.

The Eldar say that when Slaanesh awoke, she consumed each of the other gods in turn. While they were all devoured, Khaine took up his great sword and did battle with her instead. Khaine was not strong enough to destroy Slaanesh, but he was too powerful to be defeated. Instead he was broken, and scattered into pieces.

While this is an interesting titbit of mythology, it is a fact that at the centre of each Craftworld rests the sleeping form of an Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine, and that in times of war they can awaken him to lead them into war. The Avatars of Khaine are towering monsters with skin of iron and molten cores, hands permanently dripping with blood as Khaine's did.

Cegorach (or The Laughing God), God of the Harlequins

The other surviving god of the Pantheon, the Laughing God was the trickster and artist of the pantheon. When all the other gods were destroyed, Cegorach fled before Slaanesh until Khaine rose to do battle with her. The Laughing God took this chance to escape into the realm of the Webway, as only he is said to know all the secrets of its passages. The master of the Harlequins, Cegorach is the only Eldar god that still remains in their original form.

Asuryan, Greatest of all the Eldar Gods

Sometimes known as the Phoenix King, Asuryan was the king of the pantheon of Eldar gods. While the mythic cycles seem to indicate that he held sway over all the others, he was nevertheless consumed by Slaanesh. He is often depicted in relation to fire and light, his chief symbols.

Isha, Goddess of Harvest

The Mother of the Eldar race, Isha is a fertility goddess in many respects. She was imprisoned by Khaine for a period of time, until Vaul paid her ransom. She is often depicted crying, and her symbol is a teared eye, symbolic of her sorrow in being separated from her mortal children. Her tears are said to have solidified to form the spirit stones which keep the Eldar safe from Slaanesh after their death.

Vaul, God of the Forges

The artificer, Vaul is one of the central gods of the pantheon, and an enemy to Khaine. In order to purchase the freedom of Kurnous and Isha, Khaine demanded one thousand blades from the smith god. Vaul was unable to finish the last blade in time, and so hid a mortal blade amid the others. This fooled Khaine long enough to get Isha and Kurnous to freedom, but when he realised the trick he cried out for vengeance. Vaul finished the final blade, Anaris the Dawnlight, and took it to do battle with Khaine. Though it was the greatest of swords, Khaine was the better warrior and crippled Vaul. The smith is often shown chained to his anvil, the punishment that Khaine set upon him.

Other gods


* Kurnous, God of the Hunt -- the Father of the Eldar race, and the companion of Isha. He is often shown in conjunction with hounds, hawks, and other trappings of the hunt. He too was imprisoned by Khaine.
* Lileath (also known as Lilcarth) the Maiden, Goddess of Dreams
* Morai-heg the Crone, God of Fate/Souls
* Ynnead, God of the Dead


Notable Eldar


* Phoenix Lord Karandras, The Shadow Hunter
* Farseer Eldrad Ulthran, late of Craftworld Ulthwe
* The Pheonix Lord Maugan-Ra, The Harvester of Souls


Etymology and Inspiration

The name comes from J. R. R. Tolkien's elves, who in their own language were called the Eldar. The history of the Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 mimics that of Tolkien's elves, to the point that they are a "dwindling race" in the game universe, as the elves were in Middle-earth's Third Age.

Some also argue that parallels exist between Eldar culture and that of feudal-era Japan, in particular the Samurai. For example, it is explained that "to the Eldar, war is an art". White Dwarf talks of the "Path of the Eldar", much like the "Way of the Samurai" (i.e. Bushido). The Eldar may also be seen to borrow from ninja to a lesser extent with their appearance, and use of shuriken. It is likely the designers simply had a generally East Asian theme in mind when creating the Eldar.

"Trust not in their appearance for the Eldar are as utterly alien to good, honest men as the vile Tyranids and savage Orks. They are capricious and fickle, attacking without cause or warning. There is no understanding them for there is nothing to understand - they are a random force in the universe."
—Imperial Commander Abriel Hum

In the sense that Warhammer 40,000 races are derived from the earlier Warhammer Fantasy game, Eldar are derived from High Elves, except for Exodites who are the equivalent of the Wood Elves.

 

Ultimo aggiornamento: 14-02-06

   

Su Tornei ed eventi Componenti del Club Scenari Fantasy BG Fantasy Racconti BG Humor Racconti BG Geografia 40k BG 40k BG Capitoli SM BG TAU Officio Assassinorum Ordo Xenos Ordo Hereticus Ordo Malleus Imperial Guard Chaos Eldar Necrons Ork Tyranids Abhuman Hrud Kroot Necrontyr Nicassar Old Ones Slann Squats Vespid Personaggi 40k Raccolta foto The four Chaos Gods Officina Liste Eserciti TYK Style commenti Guestbook