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Playable Eldar?

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Blood Pact said:

JaunkiMan, while we disagree on the overall ability of a Dark Eldar of average cunning to be trusted amongst the crew of a Rogue Trader, I really can't fault your grasp of the general Dark Eldar temperment, and absolute sadism.

Well, I don't know. In my opinion the chances of a Dark Eldar being trusted amongst the crew of a Rogue Trader are between zero and none, unless the Rogue Trader is stupid, criminally ignorant or simply drunk on his own hubris.

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That's assuming the Dark Eldar doesn't have plenty of good reasons to keep them alive and work with them. The kind of Rogue Trader who'd work with a Dark Eldar in the first place, would likely be a pretty cold hearted individual themself. The cunning ones will find ways to prosper together, and the same holds true for the Dark Eldar as well. Powerful and ruthless crew members hating each other isn't a new concept for a Rogue Trader game (or the background), but they can work together all the same. And the Dark Eldar manage that well enough in their own society, concerning Real-space Raids, where everyone is too focused on working like a well blood-oiled machine to stab each other in the back.

And of course, a Dark Eldar whose forced to live among humans must be there by circumstances that preclude killing everyone for the evulz.

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JuankiMan said:

Indeed. In that respect they're exactly the same as the Imperium. The difference is that they are so few in number that, save for Ulthwe, most of their armed forces are technically militia. But to think the Eldar as kind is extremely naive. The Eldar had the galaxy in the palm of their hand once. Before the Eye of Terror, before the return of the Necrons, before the Tyranid Hive Fleets. They ruled the entire galaxy virtually unopposed, and what did they do with that power? They abused it, using the galaxy as their little plaything until, quite literally, their toy broke. And everything and everyone paid the price, their own toll being the highest.

I think at its heart you have a very very different interpretation of the setting than the rest of us seem to, which is totally ok (everyone reads things a little differently, though). For the sake of argument, though:

The Pre-Fall Eldar are much more akin to the modern "Dark Eldar" in their behavior and practice. Modern Craftworld Eldar created the Paths and the rest of their culture precisely to avoid the kinds of mistakes that their ancestors created. Is it a perfect system? No, but to say that Eldar society and cultured hasn't changed (if not learned) from their mistakes is ridiculous; they more than anyone are aware of the flaws of their past. Exodites and Harlequins took an entirely different route, and Dark Eldar chose to continue on the path of old.

To condemn the craftworld Eldar for what their ancestors did would be like blaming a newborn German for what the Nazis did. It doesn't really make sense, and doesn't enter into the equation. 

 

I also think you're being quite unfair in saying the Imperium's cause (and focus) on war is any different than the Tau, the Eldar, or any other race. Sure, the Imperium has non-military members, but so do the Tau and the Eldar. Sure, they fight out of necessity, but Tau often make diplomatic overtures before resorting to violance, and many Craftworlds are open to alliances (whereas the Imperial official doctrine is shoot xenos on sight, no matter what). I would say that the Imperium initially militarized out of necessity, but at this point have fully embraced it and there is little practical difference between their cause for war and any other race, and if you look at their official policy, they're clearly much more "evil" than Tau or Eldar.

Of course, this all breaks down a bit when it comes to practical experience and how each race behaves.

 

Finally, I'm not sure if you're aware, but the difference between all types of Eldar are purely mental and based on outlook. A Craftworld Eldar can suddenly decide to be a ranger and leave the Path, or become a corsair, or decide to venture to Commorragh. Similarly, a "Dark" Eldar may suddenly reject the lifestyle and decide to join a Craftworld or move to an Exodite world. It's not unheard of, or even rare, as far as these things go. Just because a PC is techically a Dark Eldar doesn't mean they ascribe to every belief common to their kind. Indeed, it's even possible that the PC is a "recovering" Dark Eldar, drawing upon his abiltiies honed by decades of practice, but in general is trying to steer away from the worst depravities of his kind (and perhaps sometimes failing). The important point is you seem to want to generalize all Dark Eldar and paint them in terms of pure black, but even amongst them there is some variation and shades of (very dark) gray.

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Exodite Eldar are the least morally reprehensible in the setting. They fight only in self-defense, and exist in harmony with their planets.

 Craftworlders fight for survival, and to halt the spread of Chaos. The Tau Empire uses diplomacy when possible, and is collectivist; they want other races to join, instead of just wiping them out. I'd say both of these factions are better than the Imperium.

New Necrons (Retcrons, as some calls them) are on par with the Imperium on a moral level, I'd say. They have largely the same motivations (getting 'lesser' races out of the way of their empire) and aren't terribly different. They fight to conquer.

Chaos is an inherently anarchistic force. The forces of Chaos fight to continue the existence of strife in the galaxy and generally make things worse.

Dark Eldar are actively sadistic. They do not fight in self-defense nor to conquer, but simply because they enjoy making others suffer and die. Pretty close to objective evil.

Orks and Tyranids are on their own levels, being driven in a largely animal sense to fight and war. Both are comparable to a germ or virus more than a species. Oldcrons would largely fit this as well.

 

I miss anyone?

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Blood Pact said:

That's assuming the Dark Eldar doesn't have plenty of good reasons to keep them alive and work with them. The kind of Rogue Trader who'd work with a Dark Eldar in the first place, would likely be a pretty cold hearted individual themself. The cunning ones will find ways to prosper together, and the same holds true for the Dark Eldar as well. Powerful and ruthless crew members hating each other isn't a new concept for a Rogue Trader game (or the background), but they can work together all the same. And the Dark Eldar manage that well enough in their own society, concerning Real-space Raids, where everyone is too focused on working like a well blood-oiled machine to stab each other in the back.

And of course, a Dark Eldar whose forced to live among humans must be there by circumstances that preclude killing everyone for the evulz.

It's an Eldar, it is inherently untrustworthy, and Dark Eldar ten times more so. How does the Rogue Trader know the filthy xenos really has reasons to keep them alive and cooperate beyond deception and manipulation? Also Eldar have a reputation of being flighty as the wind (generally a misconception bred from Eldar plans being so long-term and convoluted that humans are incapable of seeing the cause and effect, but that's beside the point) so his acquiesence could unexpectedly change at any moment. Also don't expect any kind of loyalty from him. Not only is the term incomprehensible to him, he also considers the Rogue Trader little more than a well-dressed chimp. The mere act of cooperating will probably be seen as an indignity that will make him fantasize cruel and unusual forms of revenge in his free time, so you can be assured that he will betray him without a second thought the moment something better or more convenient comes along.

Cooperation may be possible, but never, ever trust. Only a tense state of paranoia and forced smiles, shaking hands while plotting how to dispose of the other as soon as they outlive their usefulness, and both probably believing that they're merely using the other as a pawn.

All the while the crew will find just dandy having a alien monstrosity addicted to pain and suffering running around the ship during those long, dull and boring weeks in the Immaterium.

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JuankiMan said:

Cooperation may be possible, but never, ever trust. Only a tense state of paranoia and forced smiles, shaking hands while plotting how to dispose of the other as soon as they outlive their usefulness, and both probably believing that they're merely using the other as a pawn.

Sounds no different from how Imperial nobles interact with one another, or various factions of the Inquisition, or the various branches of the Adeptus Terra,  or…

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Plushy said:

Dark Eldar are actively sadistic. They do not fight in self-defense nor to conquer, but simply because they enjoy making others suffer and die. Pretty close to objective evil.

This is wrong. DE fight to survive. They need to inflict suffering on others in order to live. This isn't any different from milking a cow and slaughtering it for meat when the milk goes dry. Even if the cow was sapient, humans would still do these things to it if that's what is necessary to continue living (let those Craftworlders go on with their vegetarian ways).

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HTMC said:

 

 

The Pre-Fall Eldar are much more akin to the modern "Dark Eldar" in their behavior and practice. Modern Craftworld Eldar created the Paths and the rest of their culture precisely to avoid the kinds of mistakes that their ancestors created. Is it a perfect system? No, but to say that Eldar society and cultured hasn't changed (if not learned) from their mistakes is ridiculous; they more than anyone are aware of the flaws of their past. Exodites and Harlequins took an entirely different route, and Dark Eldar chose to continue on the path of old.

To condemn the craftworld Eldar for what their ancestors did would be like blaming a newborn German for what the Nazis did. It doesn't really make sense, and doesn't enter into the equation. 

Normally I'd agree with you, but these are not humans we're talking about. Eldar are inherently prone to moral and emotional excess. They feel, obsess and live with an intensity that defies human definition and so Craftworld Eldar devised the Paths as a form of strict self-discipline because otherwise they run the risk of falling into the same depravity that doomed them all, because the darkness is always there, that's why Eldar tend to mistrust corsairs, because they don't follow the Paths and you never now if he has fallen. Still they can obsess over the Path themselves, becoming phisically incapable of leaving their chosen Path to the point it starts to warp their bodies. Regardless, the Eldar learned the value of discipline but completely ignored the lesson of humility, still acting full of contemptuous pride over the "lesser races" (i.e.: absolutely everything that isn't them).

HTMC said:

I also think you're being quite unfair in saying the Imperium's cause (and focus) on war is any different than the Tau, the Eldar, or any other race. Sure, the Imperium has non-military members, but so do the Tau and the Eldar. Sure, they fight out of necessity, but Tau often make diplomatic overtures before resorting to violance, and many Craftworlds are open to alliances (whereas the Imperial official doctrine is shoot xenos on sight, no matter what). I would say that the Imperium initially militarized out of necessity, but at this point have fully embraced it and there is little practical difference between their cause for war and any other race, and if you look at their official policy, they're clearly much more "evil" than Tau or Eldar.

I never claimed such a thing, at least not for the Eldar and Tau (though the Tau don't yet know what it truly means to fight for survival). For Dark Eldar, Orks, Tyranids, Necrons and Chaos of course its completely different. They're not fighting to protect, or to survive. They fight to destroy, corrupt and consume. I also don't claim that the Imperium is less evil than Eldar or Tau, though I definitely do for everyone else. I just claim that they're no better.

The Eldar are hateful, manipulative and arrogant to the extreme, often claiming and putting to practice that the life of a single Eldar is perfectly worth the death of millions of members of other races, and entire worlds or even sectors have burned to ash as a result. They protect the galaxy not out of any sort of altruism or even a sense of atonement, but because they still regard the entire galaxy and anything within it as theirs by right, and the only reason they don't wipe out humanity is because they simply don't have the means. And still despite being of the brink of extinction they're not above letting petty rivalries and millenial grudges lock them into internal conflict and bloody vendettas. Saim-Hann is infamous for this.

The Tau on the other hand are galactic hypocrites. They just have good PR, which is something no other race even bothers with. They claim to want understanding, but they don't care about your culture. They claim to want peace, but they will blow you to smithereens if you do not do what they say. They claim to want unity, but only the Ethereals rule and the "allied races" have absolutely no say on the matter. Also, although it is not specifically stated, it is heavily implied that they're not above resorting to mind-control, mass sterilization, reeducation facilities and having dissenters "dissapear", though they generally have no need to use such means on themselves because the control the Ethereals exert on regular Tau appears absolute.

And then we have the Imperium, who is convinced that the only way humanity is gonna live to see another millenium is by having every single human look in the same direction and by golly you're gonna do so or it'll rip your bloody head off. The good of the Imperium is held above the good of the Imperial, just as in the Tau Empire, though unlike the Tau the Imperium has no way of inherently convincing its people of such a thing, so it has to resort to quick and brutal ways to keep the masses in line because it neither wants nor has time for more civilized but less expedient methods. Also it suffered so much under alien boots during the Age of Strife that it has decided to just not bother and kill every filthy xenos on sight to save itself the trouble, though it is also not above an alliance of convinience with the more "reasonable" species if **** really hits the fan. It's foundations are violence, tragedy and loss and it shows.

Again, I don't claim that any of them is "better" than the others, I just think that all three are dicks of roughly equal measure.

HTMC said:

Finally, I'm not sure if you're aware, but the difference between all types of Eldar are purely mental and based on outlook. A Craftworld Eldar can suddenly decide to be a ranger and leave the Path, or become a corsair, or decide to venture to Commorragh. Similarly, a "Dark" Eldar may suddenly reject the lifestyle and decide to join a Craftworld or move to an Exodite world. It's not unheard of, or even rare, as far as these things go. Just because a PC is techically a Dark Eldar doesn't mean they ascribe to every belief common to their kind. Indeed, it's even possible that the PC is a "recovering" Dark Eldar, drawing upon his abiltiies honed by decades of practice, but in general is trying to steer away from the worst depravities of his kind (and perhaps sometimes failing). The important point is you seem to want to generalize all Dark Eldar and paint them in terms of pure black, but even amongst them there is some variation and shades of (very dark) gray.

Not with the new Codex it ain't. A Craftworld Eldar might turn Corsair, sail the stars and then settle in a quiet Exodite world if he manages to convince them to let him, only to bore of it a few centuries later and return to the Craftworld, but the Dark Eldar are too late. They are hollow, their souls long ago shrivelled and rotten, and if they stopped drinking in the pain and torment of others they would animically starve. Not that they'll admit that. They do what they do because why shouldn't they? The galaxy is theirs by right and the prey should feel honoured to at least have some use as amusement. It's not that they won't recover. It's that they can't.

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HappyDaze said:

Plushy said:

Dark Eldar are actively sadistic. They do not fight in self-defense nor to conquer, but simply because they enjoy making others suffer and die. Pretty close to objective evil.

 

This is wrong. DE fight to survive. They need to inflict suffering on others in order to live. This isn't any different from milking a cow and slaughtering it for meat when the milk goes dry. Even if the cow was sapient, humans would still do these things to it if that's what is necessary to continue living (let those Craftworlders go on with their vegetarian ways).

 

The Exodites and Craftworlders survive using their ways while the children of Commorragh actively seek not just death, but pain and slave-taking. Torture and sadistic surgery are so common as to not warrant a mention to them. Murder has been built into their society by order of the Dark Tyrant. Their entire society exists on the principle of 'kill everyone in your way,' with a particular effort to make sure it hurts.

The reason for all this is that their souls are being slowly eaten away due to the sin that created Slaanesh. The other Eldar found to get by independently (binding into an Infinity Circuit or unity with a World Spirit) while the Kabalites and their ilk survive by actively inflicting increasing amounts of slaughter.

 

Honestly, it's why I love them. They're chaotic evil with pretty flimsy justification, in a way reminiscent of the Drow of the Forgotten Realms. 

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HappyDaze said:

JuankiMan said:

Cooperation may be possible, but never, ever trust. Only a tense state of paranoia and forced smiles, shaking hands while plotting how to dispose of the other as soon as they outlive their usefulness, and both probably believing that they're merely using the other as a pawn.

 

Sounds no different from how Imperial nobles interact with one another, or various factions of the Inquisition, or the various branches of the Adeptus Terra,  or…

Very true, but a pair of nobles can be fast friends from the academy, two inquisitors be comrades in arms, specially if one was the other's mentor, and not all Munitorum agents are required to be spiteful bastards by law (its true!), etc… but such is not the case with a Dark Eldar on board. The question is not if it will betray you, but when. Perhaps you won't live to actually see it, but be assured that it wasn't because he wasn't plotting it.

HappyDaze said:

This is wrong. DE fight to survive. They need to inflict suffering on others in order to live. This isn't any different from milking a cow and slaughtering it for meat when the milk goes dry. Even if the cow was sapient, humans would still do these things to it if that's what is necessary to continue living (let those Craftworlders go on with their vegetarian ways).

Yes and no. They do fight, kill and torture to survive but they don't do it consciously anymore and are definitely not repentant in the least. They're so proud that they have convinced themselves that they're doing all that because they want to, because they are in their right to do so and they find it endlessly enjoyable and amusing.

In your allegory, it would be like a guy who claimed he was slaughtering calf not because he was hungry, but because he wanted to feel the flesh tearing before his teeth, savor the smell of freshly spilled blood and taste it running down his throat. I don't know about you, but I'd call the nearest asylum preocupado.gif

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JuankiMan said:

HappyDaze said:

 

JuankiMan said:

Cooperation may be possible, but never, ever trust. Only a tense state of paranoia and forced smiles, shaking hands while plotting how to dispose of the other as soon as they outlive their usefulness, and both probably believing that they're merely using the other as a pawn.

 

Sounds no different from how Imperial nobles interact with one another, or various factions of the Inquisition, or the various branches of the Adeptus Terra,  or…

 

 

Very true, but a pair of nobles can be fast friends from the academy, two inquisitors be comrades in arms, specially if one was the other's mentor, and not all Munitorum agents are required to be spiteful bastards by law (its true!), etc… but such is not the case with a Dark Eldar on board. The question is not if it will betray you, but when. Perhaps you won't live to actually see it, but be assured that it wasn't because he wasn't plotting it.

HappyDaze said:

 

This is wrong. DE fight to survive. They need to inflict suffering on others in order to live. This isn't any different from milking a cow and slaughtering it for meat when the milk goes dry. Even if the cow was sapient, humans would still do these things to it if that's what is necessary to continue living (let those Craftworlders go on with their vegetarian ways).

 

 

Yes and no. They do fight, kill and torture to survive but they don't do it consciously anymore and are definitely not repentant in the least. They're so proud that they have convinced themselves that they're doing all that because they want to, because they are in their right to do so and they find it endlessly enjoyable and amusing.

In your allegory, it would be like a guy who claimed he was slaughtering calf not because he was hungry, but because he wanted to feel the flesh tearing before his teeth, savor the smell of freshly spilled blood and taste it running down his throat. I don't know about you, but I'd call the nearest asylum preocupado.gif

The Path of the Renegade novel makes it pretty clear that they can and do consciously feel the pull of Slaanesh on their souls and they choose to feed on pain to stave off the drain on their souls. It's something they need to do, but why not take pleasure in it if they can? If you must eat and can eat tasteless gruel or an artfully prepared banquet, which would you choose and why would that be evil?

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HappyDaze said:

The Path of the Renegade novel makes it pretty clear that they can and do consciously feel the pull of Slaanesh on their souls and they choose to feed on pain to stave off the drain on their souls. It's something they need to do, but why not take pleasure in it if they can? If you must eat and can eat tasteless gruel or an artfully prepared banquet, which would you choose and why would that be evil?

 

Because the banquet has been prepared by inflicting untold levels of pain and anguish on the still living ingredients that defy human understanding by the most depraved chefs alive, and the fact that there's an alternative implies it was wholly unnecesary, which means that if I chose the banquet I'd be a self-absorbed hedonistic bastard, that's why. Also, eating other sentients tends to be viewed as akin to cannibalism in universes where several sentient species coexist.

And you said it yourself. They choose to. They're under the delusion that they have a choice, in their pride thinking that it is done under their own volition because it is the most pleasurable alternative. Really now, your argument is the perfect example of the Dark Eldar's debased philosophy.

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JuankiMan said:

HappyDaze said:

The Path of the Renegade novel makes it pretty clear that they can and do consciously feel the pull of Slaanesh on their souls and they choose to feed on pain to stave off the drain on their souls. It's something they need to do, but why not take pleasure in it if they can? If you must eat and can eat tasteless gruel or an artfully prepared banquet, which would you choose and why would that be evil?

 

Because the banquet has been prepared by inflicting untold levels of pain and anguish on the still living ingredients that defy human understanding by the most depraved chefs alive, and the fact that there's an alternative implies it was wholly unnecesary, which means that if I chose the banquet I'd be a self-absorbed hedonistic bastard, that's why. Also, eating other sentients tends to be viewed as akin to cannibalism in universes where several sentient species coexist.

Also, you said it yourself. They choose to. They're under the delusion that they have a choice, in their pride thinking that it is done under their own volition because it is the most pleasurable alternative. Really now, your argument is the perfect example of the Dark Eldar's debased philosophy.

I prefer BBQ over going vegetarian. It's a choice many humans make. I don't think it makes me any more evil than vegetarians. I don't really see the DE as any more evil than humans, and your view that eating other sentients is akin to cannibalism isn't really a WH40K mindset - in that universe nobody really respects the rights of other species as equals. At most, it's animal cruelty.

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HappyDaze said:

 

JuankiMan said:

 

HappyDaze said:

The Path of the Renegade novel makes it pretty clear that they can and do consciously feel the pull of Slaanesh on their souls and they choose to feed on pain to stave off the drain on their souls. It's something they need to do, but why not take pleasure in it if they can? If you must eat and can eat tasteless gruel or an artfully prepared banquet, which would you choose and why would that be evil?

 

Because the banquet has been prepared by inflicting untold levels of pain and anguish on the still living ingredients that defy human understanding by the most depraved chefs alive, and the fact that there's an alternative implies it was wholly unnecesary, which means that if I chose the banquet I'd be a self-absorbed hedonistic bastard, that's why. Also, eating other sentients tends to be viewed as akin to cannibalism in universes where several sentient species coexist.

Also, you said it yourself. They choose to. They're under the delusion that they have a choice, in their pride thinking that it is done under their own volition because it is the most pleasurable alternative. Really now, your argument is the perfect example of the Dark Eldar's debased philosophy.

 

 

I prefer BBQ over going vegetarian. It's a choice many humans make. I don't think it makes me any more evil than vegetarians. I don't really see the DE as any more evil than humans, and your view that eating other sentients is akin to cannibalism isn't really a WH40K mindset - in that universe nobody really respects the rights of other species as equals. At most, it's animal cruelty.

 

 

 

Except for the part where Dark Eldar frequently murder each other just as happily as they do humans.

 

Also, on the meat metaphor; you will eat a steak. That steak was once a cow, but that cow was bred for that purpose (becoming meat) and was killed in moments (bullet, grinder, slit throat, whatever) by someone whose job is to do exactly that. This is less like that and more like if you went out into the woods, found a deer, dragged it home (along with a hundred other deer), then tortured the deer in your basement, carving off chunks of it while still alive and eating them in front of it. You break and burn and maim the deer until it finally dies, and then you move onto the next until you have exhausted your deer hoard. Dark Eldar go out and find other creatures and purposely drag out their suffering (something they can experience as well, so they know what it must feel like) because it feels good to them. They have an alternative and disregard it, a la the classic modern energy issue (a resource that we will always need to find more of versus renewable energy).

 

Dark Eldar are dicks.

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JuankiMan said:

 

 

 

Normally I'd agree with you, but these are not humans we're talking about. Eldar are inherently prone to moral and emotional excess. They feel, obsess and live with an intensity that defies human definition and so Craftworld Eldar devised the Paths as a form of strict self-discipline because otherwise they run the risk of falling into the same depravity that doomed them all, because the darkness is always there, that's why Eldar tend to mistrust corsairs, because they don't follow the Paths and you never now if he has fallen. Still they can obsess over the Path themselves, becoming phisically incapable of leaving their chosen Path to the point it starts to warp their bodies. Regardless, the Eldar learned the value of discipline but completely ignored the lesson of humility, still acting full of contemptuous pride over the "lesser races" (i.e.: absolutely everything that isn't them).

 

 

I don't disagree with any of that. I will say that their sense of superiority is not altogether without merit: they did have a massive empire, their technology is demonstrably superior to every other races (especially their method of space travel), and do factually have a greater capacity for emotion and expression than humans and other races.

Does that warrant the way they act? No, but it's not unreasonable to see how they got to their point, because if you start noticing you're better than everyone else, it's hard not to act that way.

JuankiMan said:

 

I never claimed such a thing, at least not for the Eldar and Tau (though the Tau don't yet know what it truly means to fight for survival). For Dark Eldar, Orks, Tyranids, Necrons and Chaos of course its completely different. They're not fighting to protect, or to survive. They fight to destroy, corrupt and consume. I also don't claim that the Imperium is less evil than Eldar or Tau, though I definitely do for everyone else. I just claim that they're no better.

The Eldar are hateful, manipulative and arrogant to the extreme, often claiming and putting to practice that the life of a single Eldar is perfectly worth the death of millions of members of other races, and entire worlds or even sectors have burned to ash as a result. They protect the galaxy not out of any sort of altruism or even a sense of atonement, but because they still regard the entire galaxy and anything within it as theirs by right, and the only reason they don't wipe out humanity is because they simply don't have the means. And still despite being of the brink of extinction they're not above letting petty rivalries and millenial grudges lock them into internal conflict and bloody vendettas. Saim-Hann is infamous for this.

 

 

Just for fun:

The Imperium of Man is hateful, manipulative and arrogant to the extreme, often claiming and putting to practice that the life of a single Human is perfectly worth the death of millions of members of other races, and entire worlds or even sectors have burned to ash as a result of Exterminatus and other practices. They protect the galaxy not out of any sort of altruism or even a sense of atonement, but because they still regard the entire galaxy and anything within it as theirs by right, and the only reason they don't wipe out every other race is because they simply don't have the means. And still despite being of the brink of destrcution they're not above letting petty rivalries and millenial grudges lock them into internal conflict and bloody vendettas. There are many examples of this.

I don't think you can legitimately claim your description isn't any less apt for humans. Again, though, I don't disagree with your overall assessments.

JuankiMan said:

 

 

 

Not with the new Codex it ain't. A Craftworld Eldar might turn Corsair, sail the stars and then settle in a quiet Exodite world if he manages to convince them to let him, only to bore of it a few centuries later and return to the Craftworld, but the Dark Eldar are too late. They are hollow, their souls long ago shrivelled and rotten, and if they stopped drinking in the pain and torment of others they would animically starve. Not that they'll admit that. They do what they do because why shouldn't they? The galaxy is theirs by right and the prey should feel honoured to at least have some use as amusement. It's not that they won't recover. It's that they can't.

 

 

I will admit that I have not actually read the new DE codex yet, so you're probably correct; my knowledge is all from previous editions. In my defense there's a lot of material describing them as not-permanent, even so far as the recent Path of the Outcast by Gav Thorpe, which came out not even a month ago, and features a Dark Eldar Dracon who left Comorrargh, and while still a corsair, has left behind the extreme practices of the Dark Eldar (no torture, ****, gratuitous murder, etc.) I guess we get into the issue then of how the 'canon' codex affects the RPG systems, which is highly debatable. Thank you for pointing out my oversight though, I guess I should try and get ahold of the new codex at least for a readthrough.

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JuankiMan said:

Normally I'd agree with you, but these are not humans we're talking about. Eldar are inherently prone to moral and emotional excess. They feel, obsess and live with an intensity that defies human definition and so Craftworld Eldar devised the Paths as a form of strict self-discipline because otherwise they run the risk of falling into the same depravity that doomed them all, because the darkness is always there, that's why Eldar tend to mistrust corsairs, because they don't follow the Paths and you never now if he has fallen. Still they can obsess over the Path themselves, becoming phisically incapable of leaving their chosen Path to the point it starts to warp their bodies. Regardless, the Eldar learned the value of discipline but completely ignored the lesson of humility, still acting full of contemptuous pride over the "lesser races" (i.e.: absolutely everything that isn't them).

Eldar are a living example for the human saying that idle hands are the tools of the devil. They became corrupted when there was nothing left to do for them except enjoying their extremely long lives. Exodites remain uncorrupted without a path system because they have to work to survive. Concerning Eldar speciesism: Humanity thinks that it's better than all the others. Eldar KNOW that they are better. They live longer, they don't ruin the planets they inhabit and their souls don't dissipate upon death (well, that's kind of a problem now thanks to the Fall). They left humanity alone throughout the Dark Age of Technology and the Age of Strife. Trouble started with the Imperium. And sorry would you respect a species who is willing to destroy whole planets with billions of their own people just to get rid of a hidden chaos cult? In Warhammer 40k humanity as a whole is at its absolutely worst, I prefer Eldar. They at least assign a value to their own kind and their souls.

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Plushy said:

 

Except for the part where Dark Eldar frequently murder each other just as happily as they do humans.

 

Also, on the meat metaphor; you will eat a steak. That steak was once a cow, but that cow was bred for that purpose (becoming meat) and was killed in moments (bullet, grinder, slit throat, whatever) by someone whose job is to do exactly that. This is less like that and more like if you went out into the woods, found a deer, dragged it home (along with a hundred other deer), then tortured the deer in your basement, carving off chunks of it while still alive and eating them in front of it. You break and burn and maim the deer until it finally dies, and then you move onto the next until you have exhausted your deer hoard. Dark Eldar go out and find other creatures and purposely drag out their suffering (something they can experience as well, so they know what it must feel like) because it feels good to them. They have an alternative and disregard it, a la the classic modern energy issue (a resource that we will always need to find more of versus renewable energy).

 

Dark Eldar are dicks.

Humans kill cattle (or deer) in the manner that they do because it's the most effective way for us to gain sustenance required to keep their bodies healthy. Dark Eldar inflict suffering and pain on sapient beings because that's the most efficient way for them to gain sustenance required to keep their souls healthy.  Both are dicks from the perspective of their prey, and (for the most part) neither really cares what their prey thinks. Not getting what is needed to survive is a bigger problem than the concerns of the prey.

I'm also not so sure that 'modern' Dark Eldar have an alternative. They are not just Craftword Eldar that haven't picked up spirit stones and walked a path. They are different at their core - both biologically and psychologically, or at least that's what the fluff in the newest DE Codex has me believing.

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HTMC said:

Just for fun:

The Imperium of Man is hateful, manipulative and arrogant to the extreme, often claiming and putting to practice that the life of a single Human is perfectly worth the death of millions of members of other races, and entire worlds or even sectors have burned to ash as a result of Exterminatus and other practices. They protect the galaxy not out of any sort of altruism or even a sense of atonement, but because they still regard the entire galaxy and anything within it as theirs by right, and the only reason they don't wipe out every other race is because they simply don't have the means. And still despite being of the brink of destrcution they're not above letting petty rivalries and millenial grudges lock them into internal conflict and bloody vendettas. There are many examples of this.

I don't think you can legitimately claim your description isn't any less apt for humans. Again, though, I don't disagree with your overall assessments.

Exactly. As I said, they are no better than the Imperium. For all their sense of self importance, for all their claims to civility, for all their millenia of civilization, they are just as barbarous as the hairless monkeys they so much despise.

Humans have the excuse of being young and stupid. What's theirs?

 

HTMC said:

In my defense there's a lot of material describing them as not-permanent, even so far as the recent Path of the Outcast by Gav Thorpe, which came out not even a month ago, and features a Dark Eldar Dracon who left Comorrargh, and while still a corsair, has left behind the extreme practices of the Dark Eldar (no torture, ****, gratuitous murder, etc.) I guess we get into the issue then of how the 'canon' codex affects the RPG systems, which is highly debatable. Thank you for pointing out my oversight though, I guess I should try and get ahold of the new codex at least for a readthrough.

I'd be wary of anything written by Gav Thorpe, though. The only one within GW with more contempt for stablished canon than him is Matt Ward.

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JuankiMan said:

I'd be wary of anything written by Gav Thorpe, though. The only one within GW with more contempt for stablished canon than him is Matt Ward.

Gav Thorpe has been writing for WH40K for a long time. There's a fair chance he's had a hand in some of what's now considered 'established canon' and if he makes small changes it, it might be more of a clarification of what he intended rather than an actual change. Beyond that, some of the newest changes to the established canon of WH40K are actually positive in my eyes (I think that the new take on the Dark Eldar and Necrons are great, but I can't say I feel the same way about the Grey Knights).

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Mjoellnir said:

They left humanity alone throughout the Dark Age of Technology and the Age of Strife. Trouble started with the Imperium. And sorry would you respect a species who is willing to destroy whole planets with billions of their own people just to get rid of a hidden chaos cult? In Warhammer 40k humanity as a whole is at its absolutely worst, I prefer Eldar. They at least assign a value to their own kind and their souls.

During the DAoT the Eldar viewed humanity probably the same as humanity viewed the Tau when they first encountered them, though the very term Mon-Keigh implies that they did ponder wether to exterminate them. Also this are pre-Fall Eldar we're talking about. I don't think they left anyone alone. And during the Age of Strife they mostly left humanity alone (which you are assuming, as there is very, very little info about that period of history) because they had more pressing problems at hand, say, the near-omnipotent Eldritch monstrosity they themselves had unwittingly created gorging itself on their souls and their empire.

And you seem to think that an Exterminatus works like an Inquisitor sitting at the top of his battleship looking despondedly at a random planet and then pointing with his finger and saying "This planet displeases me. Remove it". Exterminatus is a measure of pure and utter desperation, the most extreme form of "scorched earth" tactics imaginable. After all, you can always make more humans, but you can never make more planets. You don't Exterminate a planet to get rid of a "hidden cult". Don't be absurd. You Exterminate a planet to get rid of the very vocal cult that has toppled the local government, slaughtered the PDF, drawn the planet's population to madness and dispair and has fended off both the Guard and the Astartes, and is now threatening to use the world as a staging point for future campaigns of terror and destruction, or is attempting to pull the whole planet into the Warp, or pull the Warp into the planet or something equally apocalyptic which will most likely spell doom to every single world around it. And be assured that every single rival the Inquisitor giving the order has will examine the decision with extreme interest in case they can prove the measure was unnecesary, so an Inquisitor better be **** sure that nuking them from orbit is the only way to be sure.

And of course humanity is at their very worst. That is kind of the whole point of the setting. And I disagree that the Eldar put more value to their souls that humans do. That's the whole schtick with the Ecclesiarchy, at least with the Ecclesiarchs who act out of faith and not out of greed, which are a lot more numerous than you'd think. They do place a lot more value on their lives though, mainly because for them, Eldar lives are a precariously limited and dwindling resource, while for the Imperium human life is its lifeblood.

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JuankiMan said:

During the DAoT the Eldar viewed humanity probably the same as humanity viewed the Tau when they first encountered them, though the very term Mon-Keigh implies that they did ponder wether to exterminate them. Also this are pre-Fall Eldar we're talking about. I don't think they left anyone alone. And during the Age of Strife they mostly left humanity alone (which you are assuming, as there is very, very little info about that period of history) because they had more pressing problems at hand, say, the near-omnipotent Eldritch monstrosity they themselves had unwittingly created gorging itself on their souls and their empire.

During the Dark Age of Technology humanity was far more advanced than in the Age of the Imperium (okay, the Eldar were at the height of their power too, but it seems they didn't deem it necessary at that time to fight them.

JuankiMan said:

And you seem to think that an Exterminatus works like an Inquisitor sitting at the top of his battleship looking despondedly at a random planet and then pointing with his finger and saying "This planet displeases me. Remove it". Exterminatus is a measure of pure and utter desperation, the most extreme form of "scorched earth" tactics imaginable. After all, you can always make more humans, but you can never make more planets.

Thanks for completely proving my point. This is why I hate 40k humanity. Concerning planets: There are still plenty to (re)discover

JuankiMan said:

You don't Exterminate a planet to get rid of a "hidden cult". Don't be absurd. You Exterminate a planet to get rid of the very vocal cult that has toppled the local government, slaughtered the PDF, drawn the planet's population to madness and dispair and has fended off both the Guard and the Astartes, and is now threatening to use the world as a staging point for future campaigns of terror and destruction, or is attempting to pull the whole planet into the Warp, or pull the Warp into the planet or something equally apocalyptic which will most likely spell doom to every single world around it. And be assured that every single rival the Inquisitor giving the order has will examine the decision with extreme interest in case they can prove the measure was unnecesary, so an Inquisitor better be **** sure that nuking them from orbit is the only way to be sure.

Well, what you describe would be incredibly obvious. You are welcome to explain to me why Cyrene was destroyed.

JuankiMan said:

And of course humanity is at their very worst. That is kind of the whole point of the setting. And I disagree that the Eldar put more value to their souls that humans do. That's the whole schtick with the Ecclesiarchy, at least with the Ecclesiarchs who act out of faith and not out of greed, which are a lot more numerous than you'd think. They do place a lot more value on their lives though, mainly because for them, Eldar lives are a precariously limited and dwindling resource, while for the Imperium human life is its lifeblood.

Oh come on, you are citing the ecclesiarchy as an example of how much humans care about each other? "Burn!"

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HappyDaze said:

JuankiMan said:

I'd be wary of anything written by Gav Thorpe, though. The only one within GW with more contempt for stablished canon than him is Matt Ward.

 

Gav Thorpe has been writing for WH40K for a long time. There's a fair chance he's had a hand in some of what's now considered 'established canon' and if he makes small changes it, it might be more of a clarification of what he intended rather than an actual change. Beyond that, some of the newest changes to the established canon of WH40K are actually positive in my eyes (I think that the new take on the Dark Eldar and Necrons are great, but I can't say I feel the same way about the Grey Knights).

I don't think so. Gav Thorpe doesn't work for GW anymore and hasn't for quite some time now, so he's had no hand in recent canon outside of friendly advice to old pals. 

And I agree that the changes to DE fluff are positive. I've never liked Dark Eldar because they're evil without context and because they seem both irrelevant and unnecessary, but the new Codex has given them a bit of depth, somewhat of an explanation of why they do what they do and how the hell their society hasn't collapsed under the weight of their own crapulence.

Respecting the changes to the Necrons I am undecided. Yeah, they're more relatable now, they have more of a personality, but I still think I liked them more as they were before. Cold, unresponsive, unfeeling, completely animical to the very concept of life and maniacally omnicidal. They represented the sheer terror of a foe that can't be understood, that can't be reasoned with and that seems entirely disconnected to anything you might relate to "alive". Silent fury can't be far more terrifying than unbridled rage if done right.

And the Grey Knights… what can I say. This is Matt Ward we're talking about llorando.gif

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Mjoellnir said:

 

During the Dark Age of Technology humanity was far more advanced than in the Age of the Imperium (okay, the Eldar were at the height of their power too, but it seems they didn't deem it necessary at that time to fight them.

 

 

I don't feel the need to fight flies, but I'll still squash whichever gets too close.

Mjoellnir said:

 

 

Thanks for completely proving my point. This is why I hate 40k humanity. Concerning planets: There are still plenty to (re)discover.

 

 

Sure, if you mostly disregard the rest I said, you're welcome. Always eager to help.

Incidentally, Eldar also practice Exterminatus, do they never do it on their own planets because they haven't got any and because in the case of Exodites it would be self-annihilation.

Mjoellnir said:

 

 

Well, what you describe would be incredibly obvious. You are welcome to explain to me why Cyrene was destroyed.

 

 

Sure, but Gabriel Angelos explained it himself. Cyrene was suffering from a massive case of Chaos taint to the point that it was too far gone. There may have been still innocent uncorrupted civilians, but if Angelos, quite a decent man and a wise commander, was pushed to actually plead to the Inquisition himself to destroy his home planet, an act that would forever haunt him to the end of his days, I'm willing to believe that the ruling class was gone, that the PDF was secretly traitor and that most of the population was subtly but surely on the brink of madness. In his eyes, had he not acted Cyrene would have exploded into outright rebellion and Chaos would have gained a foothold to put the whole sector, and by extension the Chapter's very future at risk. Joke's on him, because that's what it happened anyway, but then again the Aurelian sector is one of the most unfortunate sectors in the Imperium.

And you may not see it that way and unfortunately many Inquisitors and adepta don't either, but the planets the Imperium cares about tend to be inhabited by millions, often billions of people, so wanting to save the planets implies wanting to save their lives as well. If by destroying a planet you can save a dozen from such a grim fate, then so be it. The Imperium is a lot of things, but it isn't queasy.

Mjoellnir said:

 

 

Oh come on, you are citing the ecclesiarchy as an example of how much humans care about each other? "Burn!"

 

 

No, I'm citing the Eccleasiarchy as an example of how much humans care about their souls. After all, a central tenet of Imperial dogma is that it is better to die pure than to live tainted, and Priests have absolutely no qualm of enforcing such a tenet when the sinner won't enforce it himself lest they spread it to others. And sure, the Ecclesiarchy is ridden with corruption as it always is the case in large human institutions and many priests sin of overzeal, but then again, Chaos is a mighty foe indeed. The taint of the Warp and its siren songs are like a form of very difficult to detect radiation that mind ***** people and then teaches them to make dirty bombs.

 

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JuankiMan said:

HappyDaze said:

 

JuankiMan said:

I'd be wary of anything written by Gav Thorpe, though. The only one within GW with more contempt for stablished canon than him is Matt Ward.

 

That's CS Goto or James Swallow (though Swallow has been less heinous lately, maybe someone's finally editing his stuff finally) not Gav Thorpe, who pretty much (with the later addition of Phil Kelly) defined Eldar as a race and has brought more background for Dark Angels and Imperial Guard than most (though not as much IG love as Dan Abnett). Goto = Backflipping Terminators… 

 

Gav Thorpe has been writing for WH40K for a long time. There's a fair chance he's had a hand in some of what's now considered 'established canon' and if he makes small changes it, it might be more of a clarification of what he intended rather than an actual change. Beyond that, some of the newest changes to the established canon of WH40K are actually positive in my eyes (I think that the new take on the Dark Eldar and Necrons are great, but I can't say I feel the same way about the Grey Knights).

 

 

I don't think so. Gav Thorpe doesn't work for GW anymore and hasn't for quite some time now, so he's had no hand in recent canon outside of friendly advice to old pals. 

And I agree that the changes to DE fluff are positive. I've never liked Dark Eldar because they're evil without context and because they seem both irrelevant and unnecessary, but the new Codex has given them a bit of depth, somewhat of an explanation of why they do what they do and how the hell their society hasn't collapsed under the weight of their own crapulence.

Respecting the changes to the Necrons I am undecided. Yeah, they're more relatable now, they have more of a personality, but I still think I liked them more as they were before. Cold, unresponsive, unfeeling, completely animical to the very concept of life and maniacally omnicidal. They represented the sheer terror of a foe that can't be understood, that can't be reasoned with and that seems entirely disconnected to anything you might relate to "alive". Silent fury can't be far more terrifying than unbridled rage if done right.

And the Grey Knights… what can I say. This is Matt Ward we're talking about llorando.gif

 

Gav is still writing for GW through Black Library and never really stopped (in fact, Ravenwing comes out VERY soon and is his, and he wrote The Lion for the HH series recently).

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