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MarshallSam
27-09-2005, 01:42
I am putting together an ad-hoc RPG 40k game, but I'm running the players from the Tau Empire rather then the Imperium. Just a few quick questions, what is the relationship between the Tau and Eldar? Hrud? Any other races other then the standard armies?

Sir Charles
27-09-2005, 02:23
They have the Kroot, Vespids, and Nesscar(sp) as member races of their empire and they have close relations with the Demurg.

Khaine's Messenger
27-09-2005, 03:14
You can just make up the relations as you please within the bounds of how you view the Tau. They've had Hrud mercs, and some Eldar seers have seen good things for the Tau and have made efforts to help the Tau Empire persist (intervention in the Return to Damocles event, eg)...although for what reasons, the Eldar probably aren't telling (although one could assume it's stereotypical Eldar fate manipulation mumbo-jumbo). Feel free to go crazy; there've been Imperials who've carjacked the private rides of Eldar ambassadors before, so there's all sorts of wierdness to be had in the 41st millenium....

DantesInferno
27-09-2005, 03:42
The Eldar do indeed seem to have taken a rather protective stance towards the Tau. There's this quote by Eldrad Ulthran:

"I have followed the myriad potential futures of the Tau with great interest. Though barely even striplings compared to us, I feel a strange protectiveness towards them. In time I believe they will exceed even our greatest feats and master the darkness within their souls."
This sort of altruism seems distinctly un-Eldarish,and surely more militaristic Eldar of the Biel-tan style would take a much more aggressive stance towards the Tau.

On a much smaller level, individual Eldar or warbands could definately work for Tau as mercenaries, but I can't see them overcoming the Eldar arrogance enough to actually sign up as subjects of the Tau Empire. Still, I suppose it's quite possible.

Lockjaw
27-09-2005, 03:44
they have some humans in their empire too I think

schoon
27-09-2005, 14:42
Codex: Tau should really be your primary source of information on this topic, but the Tau Empire does offer a huge variety of potential races, since they tend to integrate other species into the "common good" rather than seek to exterminate them - as certain other xeno-phobic organizations with which we might be familiar ;)

In short, you can most likely find almost any race native to the Ultima Segmentum, though perhaps only a few for those further removed astronomically.

With respect to Dante, I wouldn't put too much stock in the Eldar's protectiveness towards the Tau. Apart from the quote, which may represent a personal rather than racial sentiment, I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe that there are any more or less Eldar in that area, nor that they cooperate in any significant way.

Davian
27-09-2005, 16:01
I think that that quote simply shows that the Eldar race isn't necessarily driven by pure arrogance, but more of a Machiavellian sense of duty to do what's best for the galaxy overall. That is, "the end justifies the means". Since they have the ability to predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, they are driven to change the bad things that they forsee, and they see temporary hardship in the present as irrelevant to the overall situation. There are varying degrees of how individual Eldar view how "the good of the galaxy" translates to mean "the good of the Eldar race", though. Craftworlds like Biel Tan and Saim Hann fall on the extreme end of that spectrum, believing that whatever is good for them is good for the overall state of things, hence they seem (rightly so) arrogant. Eldrad on the other hand, and loosely by extension, Craftworld Ulthwe, has seemed to take a more moderate approach to things, almost seeming to be open to the possibility of coexistence with the races that have more of a capacity for rationality. Selfless actions like Eldrad's sacrifice during EoT (which I still think is going to turn out to have some positive consequence that wasn't immediately apparent), Iyanden's interception of a Tyranid Hive Fleet, and Alaitoc's coming to the aid of the Tau against the Orks all exhibit a sense of duty to protect the future, as opposed to outright arrogance. Actions like these seem pointless to many Imperial citizens, so in their xenophobic mindset, they resign themselves to classifying the Eldar as arrogant and completely random. Since the Tau are actually open to dealing with other races, Eldar are more likely to attempt to deal with them peacefully, rather than wasting precious resources. Still, if the necessity arose, no Eldar would hesitate to fight the Tau, but that situation is less likely to come up when there is the possibility for diplomacy.

At least, that's my take on it. Feel free to disagree, but I actually see the Eldar as being the closest thing 40k has to true "good guys". The Tau mean well, but are still too naive.

With respect to your story, that leaves a lot of opportunity, especially since the Craftworld nearest the Tau Empire is Alaitoc, meaning there would be plenty of Rangers out and about, exploring and finding their own paths. Would it be possible for one of them to be swayed over to the Greater Good? I sincerely doubt it, but I suppose it could be possible, and it's your story after all. Would a Ranger help the Tau only long enough to stab them in the back later? Most certainly, but only if he had a good reason to do it, most likely related to a Farseer's predictions.

Kage2020
27-09-2005, 22:04
Eldar as 'good guys'? Perhaps. I just have always seen them as being capricious and selfish bar-stewards myself...

Kage

DantesInferno
28-09-2005, 00:01
I think that that quote simply shows that the Eldar race isn't necessarily driven by pure arrogance, but more of a Machiavellian sense of duty to do what's best for the galaxy overall. That is, "the end justifies the means". Since they have the ability to predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, they are driven to change the bad things that they forsee, and they see temporary hardship in the present as irrelevant to the overall situation. There are varying degrees of how individual Eldar view how "the good of the galaxy" translates to mean "the good of the Eldar race", though. Craftworlds like Biel Tan and Saim Hann fall on the extreme end of that spectrum, believing that whatever is good for them is good for the overall state of things, hence they seem (rightly so) arrogant. Eldrad on the other hand, and loosely by extension, Craftworld Ulthwe, has seemed to take a more moderate approach to things, almost seeming to be open to the possibility of coexistence with the races that have more of a capacity for rationality. Selfless actions like Eldrad's sacrifice during EoT (which I still think is going to turn out to have some positive consequence that wasn't immediately apparent), Iyanden's interception of a Tyranid Hive Fleet, and Alaitoc's coming to the aid of the Tau against the Orks all exhibit a sense of duty to protect the future, as opposed to outright arrogance. Actions like these seem pointless to many Imperial citizens, so in their xenophobic mindset, they resign themselves to classifying the Eldar as arrogant and completely random. Since the Tau are actually open to dealing with other races, Eldar are more likely to attempt to deal with them peacefully, rather than wasting precious resources. Still, if the necessity arose, no Eldar would hesitate to fight the Tau, but that situation is less likely to come up when there is the possibility for diplomacy.

At least, that's my take on it. Feel free to disagree, but I actually see the Eldar as being the closest thing 40k has to true "good guys". The Tau mean well, but are still too naive.

I do disagree with the view of the Eldar as 'good guys', it's a position that GW really tried to avoid in 3rd ed. To take a quote from Gav Thorpe's designer notes (found here: Eldar Designer Notes (http://uk.games-workshop.com/eldar/designers%2Dnotes/4/))

For instance, there was always this underlying impression that the Eldar were somehow 'good guys'. Wrong! The Eldar are possibly one of the most selfish and self-serving races in the galaxy. It is true that they have indeed fought many battles alongside the Emperor's forces, but this is definitely for their own ends, not out of some altruistic attitude to Humanity. This is best summed up by an old quote from WD110:

"Make no mistake human. We do not fight for your Emperor. We fight against Horus."

A second facet of the Eldar I wanted to explore a bit more was their total and utter arrogance and self-righteous attitude to the rest of the galaxy. They once ruled a vast and mighty empire, which they foolishly lost. However, except for a few of the wisest Farseers, the Eldar do not blame themselves, but turn their anger upon the 'usurper' races who sprang up in the vacuum - Orks, Humans, Kroot and so on. To Eldar, the only other creature worth considering with any degree of respect is another Eldar; all other races are brutish animals (the Dark Eldar see 'prey species' quite literally as cattle!)

Attached to both of these principles is the way that the Eldar, particularly the Farseers, callously manipulate other people. They will gladly start a war that will see ten billion humans die, if it means that in five thousand years time an Eldar life is saved.

The way I see it, all Eldar view the ultimate goal as being Eldar superiority in the galaxy, if possible. Ulthwe will fight alongside humans when it is in their own interests to do so - ie if they hadn't, the Imperium was likely to fall, and the alternative would be much worse for the Eldar. This doesn't mean, however, that they are altruistic by any stretch of the imagination - ie diverting Ghazhkull's Waaagh to Armageddon instead of the Craftworld.

I'm sure the Eldar would prefer the Tau to the Imperium because they are not openly xenophobic or hostile, and seemingly can't be easily seduced to chaos. However, this is where I find the Eldrad quote distinctly out of character. I wouldn't mind him feeling protective towards them because of their usefulness as a tool, or implement to further the Eldar agenda. I certainly don't like it if he likes them simply because of their own potential as a race. And as for suggesting that the Tau may one day exceed even the greatest feats of the Eldar........Can you really see an Eldar saying this, because I really can't.

Goblinardo
28-09-2005, 00:21
I can, if said Eldar thought his race to be irrevocably doomed.

Sephiroth
28-09-2005, 00:50
I'm sure the Eldar would prefer the Tau to the Imperium because they are not openly xenophobic or hostile, and seemingly can't be easily seduced to chaos. However, this is where I find the Eldrad quote distinctly out of character.

I wouldn't say its too out of character. After all, maybe Eldrad counts as one of those 'wisest Farseers', giving him a certain degree of humility. Well, when he was still around. ;)

Davian
28-09-2005, 01:07
Fair enough. But given the fact that the article says they tried to steer away from such a concept, it definitely suggests that things could have been construed that way, so you can't really blame me ;P ... The ironic thing about the situation would be that as far as they've gone to try and escape Slaanesh by mitigating their hedonism, the arrogance that they still clutch onto has got to go a long way to ensuring her continued existance. The fact remains, though, that they are driven more by cold hard logic and specific goals, rather than random whims.