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View Full Version : Assuryan - Not an Eldar god at all, but their name for God?



Captain Stern
06-09-2007, 17:32
While thinking about the Eldar and their mythology it occured to me that perhaps Assuryan isn't an Eldar god in the same vein as Khaine, Vaul and the rest, but a higher order of being altogether.

Why? Well, here are the main reasons. In the mythology that I'm familiar with (meaning that I haven't read it all so I might be completely off the mark here) Assuryan is described as king of all the gods, the undisputed and unchallengable head of them all. Yet Khaine has been described as being the most powerful. Isn't that a bit odd? As far as I'm aware, in real life mythology, the only example of a subserviant deity being more powerful than the head god of the pantheon is in Norse mythology, where Thor was said to be more powerful than all of the gods including his father Odin. Thor had a reason not to usurp, namely because Odin was his father and they had,for the most part, an ok relationship. What would stop Khaine who (I presume) had no such love for anyone, from taking over? Maybe it's because Assuryan was/is beyond the Eldar Gods (and also, therefore, the Chaos Gods who are beings of the same order (I'm making an assumption here, of course)).

Maybe Assuryan is the Eldar idea of, or the name for, an omniscient being? Perhaps they had knowledge of, or even a relationship with God (notice the capital 'G') who they named Assuryan? Or, if not God, a type of galactic being of a higher order than the gods of the warp. This would explain:

a.) why Khaine is described as being the most powerful of the Eldar gods (Assuryan is of a higher order)
b.) why Assuryan, the king of their gods (and therefore a big deal), isn't specifically mentioned in the list of eldar gods consumed by Slaanesh
c.) why it was Khaine and not Assuryan who made the last stand of the Eldar against Slaanesh (unless it's because Assuryan wasn't as vital and incorruptable a part of the Eldar psyche as Khaine was)
d.) why there is no mention of Khaine, described as being the most powerful, ever challenging Assuryan's authority, and also never any mention of him ever even being in any position to do so.

and finally

e.)how Assuryan was able to seperate the realm of the gods from the realm of the Eldar forever - or something like that. I can't remember exactly how it's described (it's in the 'Tears of Isha' story). My point is, if it's to be taken even half-way literally, it was a feat beyond what you'd expect any warp power to be capable of.

What do you think? Is this idea new or is it too out-there for any one to have mentioned it before?

grickherder
06-09-2007, 17:47
I think it fits. It also fits just fine with polytheisms on Earth that have had one "over-god" that was so far and above the other gods, he was another class altogether. For example, in ancient Mesopotamia, Anu the sky god was so far above everything else that he was another class altogether. He didn't really interact with people. He just gave birth to the other gods (Enlin and Enki being the most important) and the world just went along underneath him.

Kage2020
06-09-2007, 19:10
Indeed, and surely one can take a gander at celtic mythology to see some of the roots of this?

Kage

Captain Stern
07-09-2007, 13:39
I'm going to resurrect this thread because I want to find out what other people's interpretations of Assuryan is. Do you think he was a 'conventional' god of the Eldar and consumed by Slaanesh like the rest of them? If not, what do you think he was and what do you think happened to him? Do you think he existed at all?

elvinltl
07-09-2007, 13:46
Ya, i also find it strange... How can a Leader of the Gods have inferior power compared to their minor Gods? It's like Zeus or the Jade Emperor with lesser power...

Born Again
07-09-2007, 13:47
Well, you seem to have some solid evidence there. So I suppose it's plausible, though it would be the first mention of any god, or God, as we understand them in 40k: it has always been that gods are simply very powerful warp entities.

Lord Malorne
07-09-2007, 13:48
i beleive he was merely a god and perhaps first among equals.

as for eldar, the way they talk about there gods will have you running around in circles untill you claw out your eyes man!
most confusing is eldar myth.

best to let the fluff alone!

stormblade
07-09-2007, 14:41
Perhaps Assuryan is just a metaphoric incarnation of something that the Old Ones (or somebody else) did to the Eldar that made them incompetent of ever summoning their gods into the materium again(like they did when Khaine fought Kaelis Ra)

Iracundus
07-09-2007, 14:48
Again why this seeming desire to try and create pseudo-monotheism by positing one god as supreme or omniscient? Why can't people simply accept a truly polytheistic pantheon without trying to leak monotheistic bias in?

Also, why are people supposing the leader of a panethon must necessarily have the most brute force? Simply being strong doesn't make for a good leader.

Khaine in 40K for whatever else he might have been, seemed to have at least respect for the letter of the law, if not necessarily the spirit. He punished Kurnous and Isha only after they had broken Asuryan's law and Asuryan had allowed Khaine to do whatever he wanted with them. Likewise, Khaine made a bargain with Vaul and seemed to have every intention of holding to it if Vaul had truly come up with the promised 100 blades.

Mr Zephy
07-09-2007, 16:13
Kronos was the most powerful, but he was overthrown by the younger gods. Just because a god comes before, doesn't mean they're the most powerful.

chromedog
08-09-2007, 01:43
There is also mention of the eldar gods as "the asur" as a pantheon. The "asuryan" are the collected peoples of the gods, and also the more powerful of the eldar gods. Let's face it, consistency is hardly GW's strong point (they ret-con more than George Lucas)
This is somewhat similar to the norse "aesir", and could merely be an intentional misconception (or indeed, "myth-conception" :D ) based around different cultures using similar sounding words for different things.

Iracundus
08-09-2007, 03:44
You're mistaken. Asuryan is the Eldar god. In the Necron Codex, the Farseer refers to the Eldar as the "sons of Asuryan", though this is meant more symbolically than literally. In mythological literal terms, the Eldar are supposed to be the offspring of Isha.

In WHFB, the High Elves are called the Asur. Don't confuse the two universes.

Ktotwf
08-09-2007, 03:48
The idea of "God" in 40k is not only unwelcome, but unneccesary and contradictory to the spirit of the Universe.

Kandarin
08-09-2007, 05:16
Again why this seeming desire to try and create pseudo-monotheism by positing one god as supreme or omniscient? Why can't people simply accept a truly polytheistic pantheon without trying to leak monotheistic bias in?

Because as mentioned before, there's a lot of precedent in polytheism itself.

In any case, it's not being positted that Asuryan be considered omnipotent from an omniscient narrator's point of view, merely that the Eldar believed he was.

Ktotwf
08-09-2007, 05:23
The precedent, as far as I have seen, would be that eventually ONE GOD in a Pantheon would be adopted as a Monotheistic god (this is called Henotheism). This was how Yahweh, a relatively obscure Sky god of the Indo-European pantheon, became the "God" of the Western World as we know him today.

Iracundus
08-09-2007, 05:35
There are polytheistic religions today where that has never happened. To suppose that it is a "natural" course is monotheistic bias.

The Eldar have never believed their gods were all powerful. They fought among themselves, and had their own limitations. And now except for 2 of them (and 1 yet to be born), they are all dead, consumed by Slaanesh.

Ktotwf
08-09-2007, 05:42
There are polytheistic religions today where that has never happened. To suppose that it is a "natural" course is monotheistic bias.


Durr...lets state obvious stuff in attempt to sound condescending and smarter than everyone.

Obviously Polytheism - Henotheism - Monotheism isn't a universal pattern. But it is a patter that has precedent, and that is all I was saying, not that it was natural or inevitable.

But thanks for going through the effort of digging things out of the text that wasn't there in order to be contrarian and condescending.

Orthodox
08-09-2007, 08:58
He is gone from this evil world.

His guardians are in exile

routed by the fury of Ashur.

We can't rely on Engel's mercy.

Pyrotix
08-09-2007, 18:48
There are polytheistic religions today where that has never happened. To suppose that it is a "natural" course is monotheistic bias.

The Eldar have never believed their gods were all powerful. They fought among themselves, and had their own limitations. And now except for 2 of them (and 1 yet to be born), they are all dead, consumed by Slaanesh.

Don't you mean 3?

Khaine is cut up into shards and manifests himself still with avatars, Ceggorach is the living god of the Eldar Webway and the Harlequins, and Y'nnead is the webway god who is currently being conceived.

scarletsquig
08-09-2007, 18:54
I've heard of Asuryan, but not Assuryan.

Who is he, the eldar god of stools? :P

Captain Stern
08-09-2007, 18:55
In what Games Workshop publication is Y'nnead mentioned?

Idaan
08-09-2007, 20:04
First mention was in WD 127 (praisebeitsname), but it was just a suggestion about spirits accumulating in Infinity Circruit to the point they'll be able to unite and overcome Slaanesh.
The actual name "Ynnead" appeared first in 3e codex in a short story about Eldrad taking reverie in heart of Circuit.

Captain Stern
08-09-2007, 20:11
Thanks. Sounds interesting...