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Inquisitor Engel
17-04-2005, 19:04
So, the design team will be start on the Eldar Codex eventually. When, we don't exactly know, but within a reasonable length of time.

Gav, upon the WD pages of the first Eldar Codex, stated that he tried to emphasize the alien nature of the Eldar. The Codex is still pretty bright and fluffy as far as Codices go.

Given the current trend of Fluff, I think the Eldar Codex should be exceedingly, exceedingly dark. Lots of emphasis on the Spirit Stones, the Path of the Warrior, he conscription of Guardians, She Who Thirsts, and the dying aspect of their race. Survival of the Eldar.

Not dark like evil, but the Imperium in 40k looks like the devil incarnate compared the Eldar, I think this issue needs to be reversed, or at least equalled out. The Imperium places their own people at risk and death to save others, the Eldar need to have even more disregard for the people of other races. Things like that.

Flame Boy
17-04-2005, 19:36
I suppose there are many aspects of the Eldar that should not be left by the wayside... They were once very important, and although arrogant they weren't particularly malicious... then there's the fall of the Eldar as a result of rampant depravity, then you have the desire for Eldar to control their own nature and shape their own destiny as well as a cynicism born from being so clse to the sun that their wings burned.

The Eldar are still quite complex, and it's pretty important that even with a darker tone to the Eldar, they must lean heavily on the fact that the Eldar do what they do out of neccessity. Then again, that might sound too similar to the Imperium. I'm not sure. I think the background they could provide for the now resurfaced Altansar craftworld might show the desperate plight of the Eldar, combined with tha old chestnut, the doom of the Iyanden craftworld. Perhaps the plot needs to be moved on with them, as their background has not changed since the RT days, has it?

Whatever my opinion is, I'm fairly sure the Eldar are already pretty dark now, especially the xenophobic, warlike Biel-Tan Craftworld.

Khaine's Messenger
17-04-2005, 21:49
Given the current trend of Fluff, I think the Eldar Codex should be exceedingly, exceedingly dark. Lots of emphasis on the Spirit Stones, the Path of the Warrior, he conscription of Guardians, She Who Thirsts, and the dying aspect of their race. Survival of the Eldar.

Why the Path of the Warrior? Why not The Path itself?
And I don't see a need to discuss the "conscription" of Guardians, because at this point it would seem like an ex post facto explanation of why Guardians can be fielded in such a shoddy manner, and no one would really accept it except for those people who would forgive any transgression as long as there's background for it. Unless it's a really good explanation.
And, the dying aspect? No, I think that's been touched upon enough...with a bit too heavy a hand. If it is touched upon, it had better darn well not be "oh woe unto us, we are dying. Listen to our banshee wail, weak ignorant mon-keigh, so we can cry and wax poetical about our doom and still be smugly superior to you." It should just emphasize that their culture, almost like the Imperium's, is in a general state of decay and stagnation, a long downward spiral.

Delicious Soy
17-04-2005, 23:27
I think the fact that the Path is the only control on Eldar behavior should be emphasised. Eldar have no concpet of morals, so combined with their contempt for other races, the use some horrifying weapons (things like monofilament weapons really emphasise this aspect of the Eldar). In addition their enormous psychic capabilities should be played up. Eldar in battle should be like wraiths, like DE, Craftworld eldar should use terror as a weapon, though through their farseers. Farseers while not only commanders should be portrayed as psychic disruptors, kicking up unnatural storms with a flicker of thought, causing nightmares in the enemy, undermining his resolve and such, not directing lightning bolts, merely influencing the battle indirectly. Basically a trooper should peer out of his trench towards the eldar and see a whole bunch of wierd ***** and promptly soil himself.

bigred
19-04-2005, 02:10
I agree with all that has been said so far. Being an eldar player since the RT days, its easy to look back through the fluff over the years, and I hope the new codex brings out more of the following:

1) The sheer Ancientness of the race: For me, some of the most enthralling fluff about the Eldar is their deep and dark sense of loss, even from long before the Fall. The sense that their truly ancient history of war with the Yngir, and alliances with the Old Ones was so terrible, that they have purposely shrouded it in myth... The fact that much of the black library was sequestered for their own racial sanity, and the harlequins sent to guard it's terrible power for all time. The fact that the Eldar have weapons that are uniquely suited to destroy the Yngir, after all these millions of years; such as Blackstones, Swords of Vaul (where ever they ended up), Wraithcannon. These are the features that truly define the Eldar to me... and the Cursus of Altanar cause its just so cool a concept.

If there was ever a race crying for a huge page of exotic "only one per army" wargear items, it was the Eldar who can reach back literally millions of years for artifacts... yet the 3rd Ed. codex is barren.

2) The other aspect I hope GW emphasizes is the "magical, other-worldliness" of the race. When boiled down to stats, its easy to forget the fluff but there was a wonderful paragraph back in the Catidel Journal that summed up fighting the Eldar:

It went something along the lines of: This terrifying race of Necromancers, raised their dead to fight for them (wraith contructs), appeared from no where (web way network), fought from the protection of strange etherial fog-banks (conceal), and were lead by 20 ft daemons of fire that crushed men and tanks as if they were toys . The old Imperial Guard sergeant, told his new recruits, that the Eldar moved faster than any man, struck hard and fast, and dissapeared into nothingness the blink of an eye...

If the codex can somhow put that mixture of alien mystery and horror back into our favorite dying xenos, i'll be smiling for years to come.

-Bigred

Brother Munro
19-04-2005, 10:22
I'd love to see the Eldar shed the 'oh we are dying' moping image and become what they are meant to be, a mysterious and ancient race whose technology is so advanced and refined it seems as magical as their psychic powers. The inherent doom in the path of the warrior (becoming an exarch) and the danger of the path of the seer, and also the path of the wanderer. The Eldar don't have to come off as the annoying poncies they are at the moment, and it would help to shed the whole 'elves in space' thing.

Alpharius
19-04-2005, 20:14
I would be real happy if they dropped the whole "Mon-Keigh" crud too...

Sheesh...

Dark Muse
20-04-2005, 00:01
Since no one else is volunteering let me play the Devil's Advocate. Why should the CW Eldar be dark? Grim to be certain, but why dark? The Eldar in their height show evidence of being less aggressive and more understanding of other races. They are obsessive compulsives to an extent that is hard to imagine as a human. Combine this with psychic power and the obsessions of a group could spread throughout the society like a disease, which at a guess is what caused the fall. This is mitigated now by the Eldar's staunch adherence to paths, segregating the society from each other and putting in place very firm controls over the psyche.

The Craftworld Eldar are not a dark race, they are a grim one. They fought and lost. More humbling than losing to an opponent, they lost to themselves. Now they are struggling to survive and preserve something of what it is to be an Eldar.

This parallel never occurred to me before but it feels somewhat apt. They are something like the native Americans in the early 1800s, just before the Trail of Tears. A proud race, once the dominant race of the world (as they saw it) brought to the edge of extinction. Fighting in the old ways and struggling to survive in a world that is changing around them. They will never live to regain their lost glory, but they remember it and see it fade with each passing generation.

As far as other races go, they are of little importance to the Eldar except as they threaten to bring about Chaos or threaten the continued existence of the Eldar. The Eldar fight Chaos with every fiber of their being and by and large I suspect they would let the humans have their quaint little Empire if it were not the threat of the Empire itself causing a cataclysm just as the Eldar themselves did. Well that and the slight case of xenophobia the Empire has. I have said it before and I will say it again. The Eldar as a race are neither benevolent or malevolent. They are apathetic. Of what importance are the other races compared to the rebuilding of the Eldar?

What the Eldar on the Path of the Warrior feel is not quite so simple. Do they blindly hate or are they controlled, focused violence meant as a release of that part of the collective? In the old fluff, putting on the armour of an aspect warrior was something like focusing the mind to a goal. Most Eldar on the path of the Warrior did not revel in the violence, it was something that needed to be done.

Rich
20-04-2005, 18:27
I think the fact that the Path is the only control on Eldar behavior should be emphasised. Eldar have no concpet of morals, so combined with their contempt for other races, the use some horrifying weapons (things like monofilament weapons really emphasise this aspect of the Eldar).

This is one of the ideas about the Eldar that I believe whould be pushed forward. The fact that they ARE alien, that they don't understand, cannot even comprehend, the concepts of cruelty and capriciousness, and so exhibit these qualities because they do not see anything wrong with them - hence they will happily watch a lot of humans being sliced and diced in agony, because the humans mean nothing to them, not even in their suffering. The Eldar are like cats, and should play with their prey more!

Flame Boy
20-04-2005, 22:44
I suppose they are more amoral than cruel, as Soy and Rich seem to have concluded, and I do agree with Dark Muse... it was a similar train of though to what I was attempting to portray, but I made a complete mess of it...

The Eldar seem to be more about bitterness and callousness than darkness and cruelty to me.

It's also particularly unpleasant for them that they have two arch-nemesis in the Ygnir and Slaanesh. One their spiritual opposite and the other, a beast of their own creation.

Marsekay
21-04-2005, 06:33
I myself would find it interesting to see a large "U-turn" in the way the Eldar are evolving. Perhaps with Altansar popping up, maybe a few more "lost" craftworlds should pop up, maybe the Eldar should be starting to get a foothold again, maybe this could be another problem to the imperium, maybe the Eldar if they got large enough again would want their empire back?!? Maybe its time they went on the offensive? getting really nasty and spitefull, less of the imperium/Eldar alliances.
I always liked the Eldar being a kind of unwritten good guy race in my head, but i guess its time to move on. and make them the total up themselves Freak race they are.
Let them discover some of their old wargear, discover a few more craftworlds and discover hope for themselves. they should fight with renewed vigour.

Oh and get the Harlies in. with all their cool gear. i hope all you expert painters are looking forward to painting those diamond cheque legs and arms!

Mark of Wulfen
21-04-2005, 08:09
I read a few posts here, got the gist of it (Sorry some people!)

I think they could stop the "pansy-looking" nature of the Eldar by darkening the codex a considerable amount, a dark, cracking texture grey. With black and white text/pics of the fall, malicious pictures of Khaine with Vaul, and the cover toting a full colour (Dark though) picture of all the Phoenix Lords-Obviously painted by Adrian Smith. Change colour schemes, MAYBE adjust weapon names like "Star Cannon" and "Bright Lance"... but that is not as much of a concern as the codex's appearence.

I would like to know what they are doing with Eldrad. Will that Farseer from the book "Farseer" become Ulthwe's new mean surpreme? Or will GW pull something random out of their butt that Eldrad still lives?

macbeth
21-04-2005, 08:51
My point of view may be very different compared to that of many here...

Yesterday, I was re-reading my old Codex Imperialis from the second edition . In the chapter about the Eldars, I read a sentence which made me long for the good old days: "they are more often the allies of teh Imperium than their enemeis".

This is really what I miss from teh second edition. THe time when the eldars had some kind of special status for the Imperium compared to other aliens. I really see a difference between the eldars (and the Tau, by the way) on one side, and the Orks, the Tyranids, the Dark Eldars and the Necrons on the others.

I agree with Alpharius, they should drop this stupid "mon-keigh" thing, a bad joke, which only works in English. They tried to implement it in fantasy, and soon realised that it was only foolish... And I agree also with Dark Muse, they do not really need to be that dark...


I'm affraid my opinion is still a minority, and that we won't come back to the second edition atmosphere, but I hope that the Eldars won't be turned into blood thirsty xenophobic aliens, what they had tended to become (just tended, but yet) in the third edition...




THere is another point I would like to be explained in their codex: how do they perceive the Tau? I was under the impression that they had some kind of benevolence toward them, but I may be mistaken...

worldshatterer
21-04-2005, 09:09
Eldrad Ulthran told us farseers that the tau were the best thing since sliced bread. he was the greatest among us, so we believed him . we are waiting to see how this pans out in the new codex .

I'd like to see the emphasis in the Eldar Codex on their arrognace being the source of their downfall . Here is a race that possessed of any measure of sense would be fleeing far beyond the imperium to find secret places to regroup and rebuild their strength . Instead they still act as if the weight of the world is on their shoulders, they are the only ones who can fight chaos, the only ones who can oppose the necrons .all other races are impudent upstarts best ignored till they intrude into eldar affairs, and completely unsuited to helping the eldar . I think the emphasis on arrogance, and an obsesion with past glory would make a good grim core to the book .

Rich
21-04-2005, 09:35
"Punching above their weight" sums up the Eldar in many respects - but ultimately I think most of us want to see the alien nature of the Eldar emphasised. Nobody in 40k is benevolent, and by the very fact of being alien the Eldar (and the Tau for that matter) think very differently to humans.

Sai-Lauren
21-04-2005, 10:01
My point of view may be very different compared to that of many here...

Yesterday, I was re-reading my old Codex Imperialis from the second edition . In the chapter about the Eldars, I read a sentence which made me long for the good old days: "they are more often the allies of teh Imperium than their enemeis".

This is really what I miss from teh second edition. THe time when the eldars had some kind of special status for the Imperium compared to other aliens. I really see a difference between the eldars (and the Tau, by the way) on one side, and the Orks, the Tyranids, the Dark Eldars and the Necrons on the others.
I'm actually glad it's gone. At best it put the eldar like the Vorlons in B5, shepherds for a young race. At worst, at the imperiums beck and call. Long term alliances aren't really something the 40k uinverse supports, really heavy artillery and xenocide are more its' style. ;)

The average eldar isn't callous, capricious, creul or any of the other things mentioned earlier (that would be the Dark Eldar who get off on other peoples suffering). They just simply don't consider anything except their own race, same as we don't consider the grains of sand on a beach, or the air we breath. As far as they're concerned, it's all about their own race's survival, and whilst they fight against the tyrannids, chaos and the necrons, they'd quite happily feed the imperium, the tau, the orks, and probably Cormorragh as well to whatever big nasty is out there, so long as it left them alone forevermore.

To my mind the codex will have to do something fairly impossible, give us gamers enough knowledge of the eldar to be able to create armies, play them and grab our attention, but to also make them unknowable, something that we can never do more than scratch the surface of. Emphasise their precognition and manipulation of fate, make it so that everything the eldar do is diliberate and totally predictable, if only you could see the entire universe for the last and next thousand years.

Ancient Weapons? Fluffy, yes. A powergamers wet dream? Certainly. Maybe have one for a very expensive special character, but certainly not as common wargear - they'd be appearing on every battlefield.

lord_fenric
21-04-2005, 10:40
I'd hate to see the Eldar protrayed as imorral arrogant creatures as that's only true from an outsiders perspective. The problem with most xenos codecies is that they're always presented from the imperiums POV. Showing things from the Eldar's perspective would bring back a lot of the race's character as it would allow that character to be developed.

I would like to see a lot more development of the Eldar socioty not linked with war, exploration of other paths, more development of their guvernmental structure etc.

Kzer-Za
21-04-2005, 17:10
To me the best way to portray the Eldar in the new codex would be thus:

- Firstly plenty of fluff to build your army around, but leave enough plot-hooks for further editions, and for players to "exploit" to make their own armies unique

- This fluff should IMO be rather detailed and focussing about two things in general: about the Fall, and what they learned from it!

- True the Eldar were arrogant and everything, but the Fall placed ONE single thought in their head! Preservation... Survival...
The Eldar will shake your hand one moment and your mind and resolve the next... They will do ANYTHING to save their own race.
* That is why they ally with the imperium one time, and backstab it the next... They do whatever is in THEIR best interests, s***wing mankind or other partners if they see so fit...
* They Employ the Paths to ensure that there will not be a second fall
* They awake their dead to fight for them (something viewed akin to 10 times the severity of graverobbing in our culture)

Thus they aren't callous, vindictive or evil in that sense to me... They are trained professionals doing what needs to get done... Sort of like some undercover agents who will risk everything for their mission...

Wasn't there talk about the whole Armageddon war that led Thraka til Armagedoon in the first place was due to preemptive strikes by the eldar to ensure he didn't reach their craftworlds, "derailing" him into human space? (Don't know if this was confirmed or just a silly rumour, but it seems fitting to me...)
20 billion human lives compared to a thousand Eldar? It is no question for them!

On the same time they sit on this vast knowledge, being an ancient race, and the technology to implement it... The problem is that they don't trust humans or any others for that matter, with it because they have seen in the past what happends with giving out too much knowledge... They have to do it themselves, and they are not enough numbers, fighting chaos on one side, and the imperium on the other... And everything else in between...

I like the idea about Altansar coming back... It brings the race some new (possibly false) hope at least, and the strength to fight on...

As for battlefield roles I think the Eldar should have the abilites to do mostly enything, but not the numbers to see it all true... Thus we get the same sort of specialization we've seen with the precious codexes....
As mentioned, a lot of "one pr. army" items, a whole bunch of psychic skills, but only one each because they have to specialize to avoid collectivly falling again...
They should be able to achieve anything, but face things with specialities, rather than the grim grit of the space marines. I love the idea of few aspect specialists and versatile guardians as a backbone... Just make those Guardians more resilient, cause loosing such amounts to bolter death seems stupid of a dying race no matter the urgency or importance of their missions...

Anyway... This was written in a few minutes, so I'm sure everything doesn't make sense to everyone... Take it as what you will, but it's my 2 cents...

Kzer-Za

Flame Boy
23-04-2005, 17:10
On the same time they sit on this vast knowledge, being an ancient race, and the technology to implement it... The problem is that they don't trust humans or any others for that matter, with it because they have seen in the past what happends with giving out too much knowledge... They have to do it themselves, and they are not enough numbers, fighting chaos on one side, and the imperium on the other... And everything else in between...


That's not entirely true, for there have been extremely rare occations with Inquisitors being allowed into the Black Library, but I suspect with said Inquisitor being captured by Ahriman since the Eldar would prove even less co-operative.

I also highly doubt the next Chief Ilthwe farseer will be the one from the Farseer novel, as far as I'm aware the first book left off with him losing his mortal body and having to dwell inside a human's head. I doubt the Eldar would take him seriously for fear that spending too long in there would dull his mind to the sludgy, clumsy levels of humans.

I wonder what the effect of the Eye of Terror campaign will have on Ulthwe? I remember hearing that Tzeentch got it's claws into the infinity circuit and drove many of the Eldar on the craftworld insane. Will it become the second Iyanden if enough of it's population have succumbed? Perhaps even Altansar will replace it as a prominent craftword? As a former Ulthwe army collector, I wouldn't be that happy about that, but if it moves the background forward it might be interesting...

Sojourner
23-04-2005, 17:14
I think the psychology of Eldar needs to be explored in detail. Being so Spartan must lead to side-effects. Hallucinations. Psychosis. Terrible, unimaginable nightmares. Very, very severe psychiatric trauma leading to introversion, vindictiveness, and a million and one other unpleasant and dangerous traits that take all the efforts of the Eldar community as a whole to withstand.

Kzer-Za
24-04-2005, 06:01
I don't think Czevak is appropriate to mention... That's one guy, and a huge exception at that... Mostly I think the new fluff will show that he hasn't actually been to the black library, and that it's all just a rumour, perhaps to draw out stuff like Ahriman....

It seems dumb to me that an inquisitor would be granted access when even farseers in their own community have a hard time getting it...

Kzer-Za

Flame Boy
24-04-2005, 14:12
But.... The Eldar have their own infathomable logic... Perhaps Czevak thought he had been taken to the Black Library, but it was a deception? The end result being that there is a cited example where it can be supposed the Eldar have decided to help the Imperium, maybe it was for their own ends eventually, but who knows? I doubt even Czevak does. It boils down to the fact that as far as we have been informed by the background, they have trusted an Imperial agent with the information the Black Library holds.

Besides, is it the case that the Eldar don't trust anyone else, or simply that the Imperium and most other races in the galaxy are too hostile towards to Eldar to be trusted? There are certainly elements in the Imperium that would be Eldar sympathisers, but when the Inquisition is likely to capture any information to entrust to a group of individuals dealing with the Eldar, is it worth the risk? As an Inquisitor is almost untouchable in the Imperial hierarchy, he's one of the few people the Eldar to afford to assist for mutual benefit.

Delicious Soy
25-04-2005, 06:34
I think the psychology of Eldar needs to be explored in detail. Being so Spartan must lead to side-effects. Hallucinations. Psychosis. Terrible, unimaginable nightmares. Very, very severe psychiatric trauma leading to introversion, vindictiveness, and a million and one other unpleasant and dangerous traits that take all the efforts of the Eldar community as a whole to withstand.
Something like that is described happening to the eldar. Their focus on war is what stirs the avatar. This would seem to imply that a craftworld gearing for war lapses into some form of psychosis, the psychic emanations of each acting as a cascade effect on the others. That sounds like a concept worth exploring as it would have interesting ramifications on the path of the outcast in its myriad forms.

Xisor
02-05-2005, 13:07
As a note on the idea of the Eldar as 'benevolent' to the Imperium. No. Essentially they may be far more open to Mankind than the likes of the Orks, but, they still feel superior, even to the Tau.

As I see it, the Eldar 'look' human and often appear in war 'completely human'. They are in fact minded as completely alien. They experience extremes of emotions so intense even a 'slight giggle' would overwhelm a human mind to experience. Their compassion is limited by their own minds. Just because you suffer and are in pain is no reason to feel sorry for you. If your capable, you escape suffering. It's difficult to describe, but I believe the Eldar are above things that are 'disputed' as Points of View from a human perspective. Essentially they'll have solved the 'capitalism vs communism' and 'totalitarian vs liberal' views to such an extent that it seems so alienly perfect, it's unimaginable for Humanity.

In essence, this is the way I see most of the races in 40k, but to a different level. Dark Eldar have solved the above but without restraint. They are wild essentially.The Orks are disciplined in their view of whats right, but not unified in it. They are chaotic but brutal, strong but unguided. Kroot are 'passive', they no longer set out to 'make a difference' but instead take a very pragmatic and real view of what matters to them. Not the affairs of the galaxy, but where their next meal comes from, whether their family unit lives on for future generations. The Tau, individually are distraught with personal conflict, but unified as a race. They are almost like the proto-Vulkans in a sense from Star Trek, able to overcome their 'overwhelming' emotions and essentially reign their inner turmoil, channel it for the 'logical' greater good.

The realm of 'Shepherd to the Good Races' IMO should lie with the Demiurg. I envisage them as race that was there 'alongside' the Eldar. The Eldar ruled the Galaxy, the Demiurg were the favoured 'partners' of the Eldar, a race sufficient to live and exist alongside the Eldar, a race suitably advanced. In my view the Eldar would delegate the running and 'boring' duties of the Galaxy to the Demiurg whilst the Eldar simply existed in pleasure and extremes of reality etc etc, as they are described by Vect.

In this way, the Eldar would be the solid foundations of the Galaxy, but the Demiurg travelled, were intermediaries to young races, dealt with small scale problems, worked, built things, done things etc. Basically, the Demiurg filled in where the Eldar couldn't be bothered. Thus when the Eldar fell, the Demiurg were left the msot powerful race but with absolutely no foundations and were swiftly beaten back by the proliferating 'young races' whom they simply weren't able to 'negotiate with' in correct time scales. They were beaten back to the Cradle and the far Eastern Fringe. Only now, as traders and business men of the Galaxy can they appear again, finally weathering the storm, only to find out the the Eldar have been left now 'Up ***** creek without a paddle', Humans are rampant and causing Havoc, Orks are simply proliferating and the Tau/Kroot/Useful small races are hiding in fear with only the tau prepared to make a concerted (if slightly naive/idealistic) push against a scary galaxy!

The Demiurg essentially were 'betrayed' or rather 'left hanging' by the Eldar, but were the 'benevolent' or at least 'understanding' symbol of the Empire, even being nonEldar. I think it'd play again in a nice way the 'Dwarfen/Elven' Archetype of Duality, but pointing out that really now the Demiurg fell further this time. A mention of this in the Eldar codex would be *VERY* good to see IMO, as long as it was non-commital, leaving full options open to develop the Demiurg, but not making them 'necessary'.

Xisor

Dark Muse
02-05-2005, 23:05
Interesting but it runs counter to quite a bit of fluff involving the Eldar. I suppose the Eldar could go through a revisionist history, but that sort of flows over into some elements which would be harder to change such as the origin of the Craftworlds and the Maiden Worlds.