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USER1
29-07-2008, 13:46
I dont fully understand why eldar are a dying race.

Can they not reproduce normally by `leading the lama to the lift shaft`?

pookie
29-07-2008, 13:56
they are dying race because of the Birth rate is much much lower than there death rate, the vast majority of thier civilisation was wiped out when Slaneesh was born.

this means that they are now on the Decline, and cant replace loses with births as quickly as other races, such as Humans ( who re produce in the same manor ).

very little is known about the Birth Cycles tho, a human can reproduce once every 9 months, where as a Eldar female may only be able to reproduce once every few years ( more than resonable to think considering there Life spans ) and in this time the death rate would out way the births.

Hellebore
29-07-2008, 14:27
It's entirely down to technology, or the lack thereof.

What do you expect when eldar militia wear toilet paper and carry slingshots? The Farseers are actually nihilistic masochists bent on destroying their race.

It should really be 'The eldar a stupidly self destructive suicidal race'...

Hellebore

Darkstar2586
29-07-2008, 15:04
I remember hearing that the eldar only can reproduce once per decade/century,
not that its how long it takes them to pop one out, but rather are unable to....

on another note... if the elder strive for perfection, imagine how excellent being in that lllama/shaft situation would be

Dominus_Serui
29-07-2008, 15:39
No doubt the 'Path' has about fifteen million prescribed rituals before Eldar are allowed to breed...after all it wouldn't be good if they got all lusty and made another god.

heretics bane
29-07-2008, 15:49
Possible due to the fact that eldar are like 1000x more sensitive than a human is and there souls are already like a bright spark in the warp so they would be pretty causious of there desires.

And the biological fact that they re-produce painfuly slow compared to other races, the only other dieing race i can think of are the WHFB high elves where it takes a male to become sexualy mature after 200 years. Could also be a factor for the eldar?

Simon Sez
29-07-2008, 15:53
It's not so simple as "leading llamas to lift shafts" (which is fine if that's your thing, I prefer having sexual intercourse with a consenting female partner of closely related age. But that's just me).

One other reason for the Dying Race is the same as the reason Europeans as a race are dying out; lack of interest. Whether it be putting off relationships and commitment in the name of that juicy promotion or dedicating centuries of ones life to an honourable Path, there are just more important things to do than breed.

USER1
29-07-2008, 15:57
All this dosent quite explain it for me as the time taken to reproduce would be the same before the fall so it must be the death rate which increased. Are the Eldar really dying in droves?

I cant see them being capable but choosing not to if it will lead to their extinction.

Tarota
29-07-2008, 17:08
1) In times of yore, Eldar souls recycled through the warp, being reincarnated in the next generation. Now, Eldar souls are generally saved in an Infinity Circuit, or lost to Slaanesh. Fewer souls available means fewer children. Or that later generations are...diminished, by dilution of their essence. See also Minbari.
2) Birthrates tend to go down during wartime, and bounce back afterward. The Eldar have been at war for a long time, and don't look to be finished any time soon.
3) Eldar are exceedingly sensitive and intelligent. They know that, by bringing a child into the world, they are also bringing it into an exceedingly dangerous and scary place. Knowing that you might not only survive your children, but survive them by millenia, might be too much for many Eldar to take.
4) Raising children is difficult, and often requires the resources of many people. When your child is psychic and...precocious (as I would imagine Eldar children to be), then this becomes even more relevant. Craftworlds may try to coordinate births to occur at the same time, to build a critical mass of support for raising the children. In between major battles (as forseen by Farseers), perhaps, when more Eldar can be spared from Warrior Paths (and when more might be willing to drop from them).
5) Raising Eldar children may take a long time. If it requires a hundred years to raise a child to maturity, and the Craftworld is under attack every decade or so, short-term returns may beat out the long-term ones for many.
6) Some humans refuse to reproduce for moral reasons, reasoning that more humans are just going to hurt the planet. The Eldar have destroyed not a mere planet, but a significant chunk of the galaxy: plenty of guilt to go around.
7) Spacecraft are dangerous places, full of tetratogenic hazards like radiation and strange chemicals. Pregnancy on a Craftworld may present a host of problems not found on a planetary surface.

Pick any of the above, or add new ones.

Mozzamanx
29-07-2008, 17:23
Eldar wear soulstones to stop getting eaten when they die. The only way to get them, is from the worlds in the Eye of Terror. Understandably, there's a very small supply of them.

Having a kid, when you don't have a spare soulstone for it, is effectively condemning them to hell from the get-go. I guess that's probably why they never reproduce.

Dakkagor
29-07-2008, 18:36
1) In times of yore, Eldar souls recycled through the warp, being reincarnated in the next generation. Now, Eldar souls are generally saved in an Infinity Circuit, or lost to Slaanesh. Fewer souls available means fewer children. Or that later generations are...diminished, by dilution of their essence. See also Minbari.
2) Birthrates tend to go down during wartime, and bounce back afterward. The Eldar have been at war for a long time, and don't look to be finished any time soon.
3) Eldar are exceedingly sensitive and intelligent. They know that, by bringing a child into the world, they are also bringing it into an exceedingly dangerous and scary place. Knowing that you might not only survive your children, but survive them by millenia, might be too much for many Eldar to take.
4) Raising children is difficult, and often requires the resources of many people. When your child is psychic and...precocious (as I would imagine Eldar children to be), then this becomes even more relevant. Craftworlds may try to coordinate births to occur at the same time, to build a critical mass of support for raising the children. In between major battles (as forseen by Farseers), perhaps, when more Eldar can be spared from Warrior Paths (and when more might be willing to drop from them).
5) Raising Eldar children may take a long time. If it requires a hundred years to raise a child to maturity, and the Craftworld is under attack every decade or so, short-term returns may beat out the long-term ones for many.
6) Some humans refuse to reproduce for moral reasons, reasoning that more humans are just going to hurt the planet. The Eldar have destroyed not a mere planet, but a significant chunk of the galaxy: plenty of guilt to go around.
7) Spacecraft are dangerous places, full of tetratogenic hazards like radiation and strange chemicals. Pregnancy on a Craftworld may present a host of problems not found on a planetary surface.

Pick any of the above, or add new ones.

You may well win the thread sir. I would like to question some of it though

7) eldar craftworlds are pretty much mobile ecosystems built from something the eldar control psychically, so I doubt chemicals and even hard radiation is too much of a problem.

The rest I think are very valid statements.

Tarota
29-07-2008, 19:47
You may well win the thread sir. I would like to question some of it though

7) eldar craftworlds are pretty much mobile ecosystems built from something the eldar control psychically, so I doubt chemicals and even hard radiation is too much of a problem.

The rest I think are very valid statements.
Thank you :cool:

Well, there was a reason this was the last objection I added. However, there are many substances that are dangerous to fetuses and/or children, that are not dangerous to adults. That's why there is a separate word defined for such substances (tetratogen). The most common example I can think of is lead: children are much more sensitive to lead exposure than adults, because it interferes with brain development. If your brain is developing for a century or two, that's a long time for your parents to keep their lead keepsakes on the top shelf.

If I was going to write a fluff reason, without resorting to drab chemistry: Eldar children are psychic. Under normal conditions, they mostly "hear" their parents, and other visitors to their house: people they can see and interact with. On a Craftworld, on the other hand, they are surrounded by "ghosts": all the souls circulating in the Infinity Circuit. These are beings they can sense, but only with some of their senses. It throws off their brain development, leading to dissociations between senses that other eldar don't see. Even worse, it can result in them accepting "psychic voices" as friendly presences. That may work fine within a Craftworld, where the Infinity Circuit does have their best interests at heart. But when they leave, the potential for Chaos influence should be obvious. Now, once their sensory wiring is reasonably fixed in place (2-3 years for a human, so 10-30 for an eldar?), exposure to the Infinity Circuit is fine, but such exposure has to be carefully monitored before that.

Tastyfish
29-07-2008, 19:50
What's the point of children anyway, to a being that is near enough immortal living in the closing days of the 40K universe all you would do is bring more suffering into the world and at that, suffering beyond that which any of the short-lived species can even dream of.

Your planet has died, the society you belong to died, the universe as you knew it has died - what doess having beings with similar genetic information around after you're dead old against that?

blackcherry
29-07-2008, 20:11
To add to the many quite brilliant points made by Tarota, I would add an example from the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Many people had lost hope and saw very little point in carrying on or bringing children into what they saw as a very depressing and bleak world with many at the time reported as having thoughts of suicide. Cases of depression were also very high at the time, leading to a lower birth rate. In a rather (bleakly) funny way, the population only began to rise once a majority of these people had died from natural or self-inflicted methods.

So to equate this to the eldar, many may have simply given up on the future following the belief/self-fulfilling prophecy of a dying race, though of course the eldar thought processes may be different and not affected by this.

Ddraiglais
29-07-2008, 20:14
1) In times of yore, Eldar souls recycled through the warp, being reincarnated in the next generation. Now, Eldar souls are generally saved in an Infinity Circuit, or lost to Slaanesh. Fewer souls available means fewer children. Or that later generations are...diminished, by dilution of their essence. See also Minbari.


That kinda brings up another question. I know it's two different settings, but... IIRC some Mimbari were reincarnated as humans (and vice versa). Would it be possible for human souls to be reincarnated as Eldar? What about other races?

Idaan
29-07-2008, 21:26
1) In times of yore, Eldar souls recycled through the warp, being reincarnated in the next generation. Now, Eldar souls are generally saved in an Infinity Circuit, or lost to Slaanesh. Fewer souls available means fewer children. Or that later generations are...diminished, by dilution of their essence. See also Minbari.
That doesn't work that way. A soul isn't some warp entity that inhabits a body but is otherwise independent from it. A soul is a shadow, an imprint of a living being in the Warp.
Procreation isn't dependant on the availability of soul, because that is what creates it.

Now, reincarnation probably means that the soul-energy of a deceased Eldar wasn't dissipated into the Warp but rather reformed around the core of other one coalescing at the same time.

And I know that Babylon V is an object of cult and has a lot of parallels with 40k (maybe beside rubber forheads), but I don't think that that reincarnation and limited number of souls is one of them.

MrBigMr
29-07-2008, 21:45
Well, they're split into several factions and even they factions are prone to fighting within themselves. They have long pregnancy, insemination isn't as easy as 'leading the lama to the lift shaft', and it takes a great long time for them to mature. Young Eldar are prone to more eradic behavior, like all kids, and as such are prone to many dangers, not to forget that they often become rangers when they can't deal with the life on craftworld. Maiden worlds of the Exodites have limited defensive capabilities and as such are prote to external attacks. Eldar aren't physically very strong and enduring. They have not one but two gods hellbent on their destruction (Slaanesh and Void-Dragon, not to forget Khaine, but that was just a phase). They aren't very friendly, so naturally everyone hates them. Um... What else. I'm sure there's other stuff as well.

Lotan
29-07-2008, 22:36
That kinda brings up another question. I know it's two different settings, but... IIRC some Mimbari were reincarnated as humans (and vice versa). Would it be possible for human souls to be reincarnated as Eldar? What about other races?

I reckon its like Buddhism, the Eldar are what beings are reincarnated to when they are at one with all. But in an increasingly screwed up galaxy less and less good people have reached that point. The more and more evil people around now get turned into ammunition for a tyranids grub shooting rectal attachment.

Tarota
30-07-2008, 03:56
That doesn't work that way. A soul isn't some warp entity that inhabits a body but is otherwise independent from it. A soul is a shadow, an imprint of a living being in the Warp.
Procreation isn't dependant on the availability of soul, because that is what creates it.
The current Eldar codex states it as: "When their spirits eventually left their mortal bodies they dissolved peacefully back into the Warp to be reborn again; for the Warp did not have such a thirst for Eldar souls as it has today." So no, the soul isn't independent, but yes, the material of the soul is reborn. I guess I just figured that, if the Warp is hungry for Eldar souls, it isn't going to be happy to give them up at either end of their life cycle. (Actually, I figured that there might be something special about Eldar soul-stuff, which remained identifiable even if the individuality was gone. But that is less supported in the fluff...)

Idaan
30-07-2008, 08:57
The current Eldar codex states it as: "When their spirits eventually left their mortal bodies they dissolved peacefully back into the Warp to be reborn again; for the Warp did not have such a thirst for Eldar souls as it has today."Yup, thanks for the quote. I remembered something like that written in there but I don't have the book at hand right now because of the holidays.



One more thing: Eldar procreation doesn't occur during one coitus, but rather in stages spanning over several dates ;). The sophistication of their DNA (quadruple helix, blahblahblah, other stuff made up in "Xenology" to make them seem uber without making much sense) makes it impossible to deliver all genetic material in one go. Well, they probably don't have to worry about unwanted pregnancies that way, but on the other hand it makes the procreation harder and longer, diminishing the chance of insemination at the same time.

Invader Nails
30-07-2008, 10:07
To add to the "no point in bringing children into a doomed universe" theory, remember that certain Farseers are apparently hard at work creating Yinnead, the god of death who will supposedly be the salvation of the Eldar people. The implication, as I recall, is that Yinnead (or is it Ynnead? Ynead? Whatever, hopefully y'all know what I mean) will only awaken once all the Eldar have shed the mortal coil. Thus more children, while providing more souls to strengthen the young god, would prolong its awakening.