PDA

View Full Version : Harlequins and Black Library Fluff



Ulthwe Farseer
15-08-2008, 23:00
What exactly is the black library, what eldar info is in it, and what is the origin of harlequins and laughing god?

Lord Zarkov
15-08-2008, 23:21
The Black Library is a (craft)world hidden within the webway which contains a repository for pretty much all knowedge on Chaos ever. It is guarded by the Harlequin Solitaires and very few people know of its lokation and even fewer are allowed in. Only the Solitaires and Illuminati are allowed to come and go as they please, although not all of these will necessarily know it's location.

The Laughing God is a pre-fall Eldar god named Cegorach. It is possible he is an 'ascended' Old One. The harlequins are his chosen Eldar and he protects their souls from Slaanesh so they don't need to wear soulstones. The solitaires souls are still consumed by Slaanesh though as this is the price they pay for playing her part. Particually gifted solitaires may be saved by the Laughing God though as he can sometimes trick Slaanesh to reclaim their soul.

Faustburg
16-08-2008, 00:33
It doesn't seem that the Eldar Gods (including ol' Laffy pants) are "ascended" (Star Gate Style) Old Ones, but rather outright gods.

The Old Ones were, while immensely powerful psychics, still physical reptiles, while the various gods of their created races were, as the concept of gods in the 40K universe is explained, the collected sum of their followers emotions and ideas, coalescing in the Warp.

MrBigMr
16-08-2008, 02:11
Old Ones wasn't one race, but a covenant of several powerful races. Didn't Gav state this at some point? Slann are the reptiles (though how do we know there weren't reptilian Old Ones as well), which were made by the Old Ones and are, for one, featured in the 4th edition rulebook.

I doubt the Old Ones ascented anywhere. Though Xenology does mention the Old Ones under the stuff about the Umbra.

Crazy Tom
16-08-2008, 03:01
Check out Harlequin by Ian Watson, if you can get a copy. That's got some information, as well as being a hell of a good read.

Faustburg
16-08-2008, 07:28
Old Ones wasn't one race, but a covenant of several powerful races. Didn't Gav state this at some point? Slann are the reptiles (though how do we know there weren't reptilian Old Ones as well), which were made by the Old Ones and are, for one, featured in the 4th edition rulebook.

I doubt the Old Ones ascented anywhere. Though Xenology does mention the Old Ones under the stuff about the Umbra.

No, he didn't., and no they are not....Old Ones were reptiles. Always was.

The one thing that has been tweaked was that in the original background the Slann were the Old Ones outright (although having regressed to basically stone age level while keeping some of their technological toys, like starships and guns around), and currently they are described as the head servants of the Old Ones multi-racial empire.

Idaan
16-08-2008, 09:34
Yes he did. And it is written in 4e Eldar Codex that "Webway was built by the Eldar using technologies taught to them by the races known as the Old Ones".
There was no evidence whatsoever pointing to their reptile nature - only their cold-bloodedness mentioned in Necron Codex, which had more to do with lack of emotion. They don't have to be the same as WFB's Old Ones.

CommanderCax
16-08-2008, 11:08
Yes he did. And it is written in 4e Eldar Codex that "Webway was built by the Eldar using technologies taught to them by the races known as the Old Ones".
There was no evidence whatsoever pointing to their reptile nature - only their cold-bloodedness mentioned in Necron Codex, which had more to do with lack of emotion. They don't have to be the same as WFB's Old Ones.

And even the WFB Old Ones were never clearly mentioned as being reptile in nature (or amphibian for that matter).

Clockwork-Knight
16-08-2008, 12:24
However, Codex Necron has a scenario where the Necrons would attack the remnants of the Old Ones, which would be put down on the field as Warhammer Fantasy Lizardmen.

If anything at all, this is more evidence that the Old Ones, or at least some of them were reptilian.

LexxBomb
16-08-2008, 15:32
The Black Library is a (craft)world hidden within the webway which contains a repository for pretty much all knowedge on Chaos ever. It is guarded by the Harlequin Solitaires and very few people know of its lokation and even fewer are allowed in. Only the Solitaires and Illuminati are allowed to come and go as they please, although not all of these will necessarily know it's location.

The Laughing God is a pre-fall Eldar god named Cegorach. It is possible he is an 'ascended' Old One. The harlequins are his chosen Eldar and he protects their souls from Slaanesh so they don't need to wear soulstones. The solitaires souls are still consumed by Slaanesh though as this is the price they pay for playing her part. Particually gifted solitaires may be saved by the Laughing God though as he can sometimes trick Slaanesh to reclaim their soul.

the black library is not a (craft)world within the Webway it is a large room with hidden compartments, and the whole thing is hidden unless you follow certain patterns in your movements through the webway. Yes Solitares are one of the guardians but there are two other types as well
1. the Black Guardians (not the ones from Uthwe) but statues within the Library itself that detect chaos within someone
2. The Phoenix Lords are actually the greatest guardians of the Black Library.
see the Inquisition War series of novels staring Draco

DapperAnarchist
16-08-2008, 17:00
Lizardmen are most likely suggested as being a race who a)won't be confused on the tabletop for anyone else (converted eldar/IG/SMs/Orks/Chaos) and b) have certain thematic similarities. Saying they are the same as the Old Ones is like saying the Empire is the IG... Also, Slaani armies don't use Skinks, Kroixgors, Saurus's, etc, they use Slaani Braves.

Xenology mentions the Old Ones EVERYWHERE. It is basically a big book of stuff the old ones made... Go Qah, The One Who Remained! And the stone tablet that suggests that Cegorach and the Star Child are Old Ones (not Khaine, on my reading, as there's no line leading to him from the Old Ones at the bottom). And a bunch of other stuff...

andyg2006
16-08-2008, 21:14
SPOILER:
The Star Child is the soul of The Emperor that was cast into the Warp after he was interred into the Golden Throne.
As such, this/He may -or may not be- an 'Old One' in the truest sense of the word:
The Emperor's soul is a living amalgam of the souls of thousands of human psykers, druids, witches, sorcerors, etc who used to be able to reincarnate.
Not sure whether their souls are just tied to the race of Humans (i.e. they never existed until Humans occurred), or whether their souls might actually have been from the Old Ones' time (e.g. they were servitors of the Old Ones, or they may have even been parts of the Old Ones' consciousnesses -a al Khaine- who just inhabited Human bodies)? Either way, he's still damn old.
Excellent ! I'm SO glad they kept this piece of background in 40K.

=Angel=
16-08-2008, 21:28
40k was originally just a scifi port of warhammer, that explained where all the magic and stuff came from. The slann on WFB world are specifically described as the old ones who created the world (in their standard geographical landmass/ocean format, explaining away with wry lampshading why it looks so much like earth)

The same old ones don't just exist in the 40k galaxy- the wfb world exists within the 40k universe as a world with regressed humans, eldar and orks. Chaos was introduced to the world when a WARP PORTAL exploded up north, showering the planet with warpstone.

Presumably the old ones are still at large given thier mastery of the warp and of creating races- the mysterious warpstorm that isolated the fledgling race of Tau from the imperial fleets and the mysterious Etherals who 'walked down from the mountains one day' point to this.

DapperAnarchist
16-08-2008, 21:45
Thats not really a spoiler - its not the reveal of any novel or anything... The Star Child is very much... suspect. In Xenology, there's a stone plaque with what is inferred to be old one names at the bottom, various species including Eldar and Orks in next up coming out of the Old Ones, a big Necron face, and three gods - khaine (a bloody hand scratched into pieces) Cegorach (a harlequin face) and a missing spot, which a rubbing shows as a baby in an egg (like the 2001 star child). I assume thats the Star Child, but it could be someone else - Qah for example (since we know nothing of it, other than it made the Hrud and its stayed behind. What that means, we also don't know).

The WFB as a world in the 40K galaxy has been put to one side to the point I think someone (either Jervis, Gav or Alan Merrit) said its simply not true.

MrBigMr
16-08-2008, 23:30
The slann on WFB world are specifically described as the old ones who created the world (in their standard geographical landmass/ocean format, explaining away with wry lampshading why it looks so much like earth)
Actually, the Old Ones made the Slann (along with Eldar, Dwarf and Man) to do the heavy terraforming. The Sauruses (the brawn) and Skinks (the brains) were made to serve the Slann because they weren't physically very skilled.

Lord Damocles
17-08-2008, 10:35
Qah for example (since we know nothing of it, other than it made the Hrud and its stayed behind. What that means, we also don't know).
Going off topic a bit:
We do know a fair amount about Qah. He's linked to the Umbra - 'He who lingers' - and the bit about the birth of Slaanesh pretty much flat out states that Qah was torn apart and cast out of the warp by Slaanesh.
We can also say with some certainty that Qah is the Hrud name for Kurnos - the Hrud identify four Old Ones who survive the War in Heaven (the horned hunter, the mother godess, the bloody handed god, and the jester). Given that Isha, Khaine and Cegorach are all accounted for, the only one left is Kurnos.

This would obviously suggest that the figure in the top corner of the tablet is either humanity or the Emperor / Star Child. Remember that Qah apparently left the Hrud to carry out some great work; the Shamans then show up (who are able to reincarnate through the warp, and are powerful psychers with a low tech level - all Old Ones race traits) and create the Big E. Looks like a conspiracy...

Iracundus
17-08-2008, 10:48
The same old ones don't just exist in the 40k galaxy- the wfb world exists within the 40k universe as a world with regressed humans, eldar and orks. Chaos was introduced to the world when a WARP PORTAL exploded up north, showering the planet with warpstone.

Indeed. I don't see why people have issues with this. The WHFB world was behind impenetrable warp storms much as the Tau world was for a long time. Placing the WHFB world in the 40K universe doesn't suddenly mean the two need to interact other than that. The lack of 40K Chaos stuff like CSM on WHFB may be related to those storms or simply be a condition set by the 4 Chaos gods, who have been described from the beginning in Realms of Chaos as sometimes setting conditions in their battles/competitions over worlds. The WHFB world's conditions might be: No non-native followers other than daemons.



Presumably the old ones are still at large given thier mastery of the warp and of creating races- the mysterious warpstorm that isolated the fledgling race of Tau from the imperial fleets and the mysterious Etherals who 'walked down from the mountains one day' point to this.

Well we don't know whether there are still any undegenerate Old Ones at large. If the WHFB world could be seen as another project world gone wrong, the Tau might be a different approach: "Beat the Necrons at their own tech game". However we do not know whether the Tau were initiated by the Old One known as Qah or whether there are a few others out there that may have lost touch with each other in the collapse of their civilization.

Idaan
17-08-2008, 11:25
@Lord Damocles: The murals in the Hrud city visited by Ralei show 'horned hunter', 'blood handed-figure', 'smith-artisan with a hammer' and 'laughing jester'. So we don't know which one of them is Qah. He could be a 'face' of an Eldar god, but he could be a deity/entity unknown to Eldar.

@LexxBomb: But it isn't said for sure whether or not this room is on a craftworld, is it? Regardless, 4e codex says "Black Library is spoken of as a Craftworld, which in form it may be, yet it is very different from the other Craftworlds of the Eldar."

@Irancudus: But how can elf gods be alive and be fighting Slaanesh while Eldar gods (which are the same) are all dead, eaten by Slaanesh? Also in WFB Slaanesh existed from the start, but in 40k he was born only after the Fall. I more like to think of it as a paralel universe, connected to 40k by Warp, which was then traversed by Old Ones searching for a new world to start from scratch.

LexxBomb
17-08-2008, 17:11
on your point 3 Idaan. Humans had colonised alot of the galaxy before the Eldar Fall. It was the Eldar Fall that enables the Great Crusade to begin. Humans had already gone through the Dark Age Of Technology. In fact it lines up very well with the timelines of whfb and wh40k. The Eldar fall creates Slannesh which in turn destroys the webway gates of the whfb world. It is never said how long before the Old Ones left and their gates collapsing (to my knowlede - im a 40k player firstly).

point 2. They got it wrong... to put it simply who ever wrote the codex didn't bother to actually do the research and decided to write what he wanted to ADD. The old fuff suggests a bubble within the nature of the Webway and guess what this is exactly what The Dark Eldar home (Nagar**** what ever it is). The DE home is not a Craft World... it is a bubble within the Webway same as Black Library. hell the Black Library existed before Slannesh in theory- I think I remember reading that in "Farseer" (a BL novel in which we have The BlacK Crystal Sword {designed to kill Slannesh} and The Herald of Slannesh ... A deamon Prince of Slannesh that existed before Slannesh was born)

Idaan
17-08-2008, 18:34
point 2. They got it wrong...To be honest it says only that the Eldar believe it is Craftworld within the Webway. Maybe it's true, maybe it's just a fairy tale, maybe Harlequins for some reason want them to believe in it.

Or it can be the opposite: that to Draco and whoever was with him at that time (I didn't read the series) the Black Library appeared as a room because that's the only form they could understand. Just as the hotel room in 2001: Space Odyssey wasn't a room at all.



on your point 3 Idaan. Humans had colonised alot of the galaxy before the Eldar Fall. It was the Eldar Fall that enables the Great Crusade to begin. Humans had already gone through the Dark Age Of Technology. In fact it lines up very well with the timelines of whfb and wh40k. The Eldar fall creates Slannesh which in turn destroys the webway gates of the whfb world. It is never said how long before the Old Ones left and their gates collapsing (to my knowlede - im a 40k player firstly).I didn't make myself clear enough. In WFB universe we have both elven gods and Slaanesh alive. In 40k it's not possible, because Slaanesh ate Eldar gods during his birth.

MrBigMr
17-08-2008, 18:57
Not to forget that I don't think Slaanesh is somehow more prone on hunting the elves and elves can worship Slaanesh (the Storm of Chaos Cult of Slaanesh DE list, anyone?) And isn't it hinted in WHFB that Khaine could be Khorne? At least the Hordes of Chaos book suggested this, as the gods appear with various names and both are gods of blood and murder.

=Angel=
17-08-2008, 23:05
Or maybe the Elves just think their gods are alive... can't wait for the warpstorm to abate and a wave serpent to land and Eldrad pops out and breaks the news...

Because , as has long been established, Eldrad is a jerk.

Joe Kutz
17-08-2008, 23:20
Or maybe the Eldar only think that their gods have died (a suitable response considering they feel abandoned by their gods following the fall).

Khaine is obviously still around in a manner. So is Cegorach. Isha may very well be alive (myth in the new Daemons Codex). Considering that the gods exist basically because their followers will them to exist - it would be reasonable to conclude that since the Eldar stopped believing in them, they stopped existing in the same manner as they did before...and there wasn't any buffet served up for Slaanesh.

Now if enough of the surviving Eldar began to believe again - they could feasibly resurrect there gods and whoop up on Chaos, the Necrons and other such problems. Most likely there is a volume or two regarding the creation of a god in the Black Library.

All the other fluff and stuff (Illuminati, Star Child, Old Ones...) has various bits which support and contradict it. The Slaan in the RT book claim to be the Old Ones. Other later sources seem to indicate they were servants of the Old Ones. The Star Child is the Emperors consciousness...later sources indicate it was actually a fragment of the Lord of Change. Illuminati were a great secret society which was pulling the strings of the Empire...haven't heard much about them since.

Depending on which version of the Black Library you read about - it allowed entrance to Illuminati, certain Harlequins, Ordo Malleus Inquisitors and others. All of them do agree that it contains all the knowledge regarding chaos (and assumably the Warp and psychic powers) that the Eldar had discovered over the past few million years.

LexxBomb
18-08-2008, 09:25
To be honest it says only that the Eldar believe it is Craftworld within the Webway. Maybe it's true, maybe it's just a fairy tale, maybe Harlequins for some reason want them to believe in it.

Or it can be the opposite: that to Draco and whoever was with him at that time (I didn't read the series) the Black Library appeared as a room because that's the only form they could understand. Just as the hotel room in 2001: Space Odyssey wasn't a room at all.

I didn't make myself clear enough. In WFB universe we have both elven gods and Slaanesh alive. In 40k it's not possible, because Slaanesh ate Eldar gods during his birth.

I wouldn't trust every thing the harliquins say... The Death Jester is ment to represent the C'tan NightBringer and the harliquin who plays their own god also plays the role of the Deciever. from memory only the really old Farseers remember that and the hariquins dont go around saying it much... maybe their god is the Deciever... particularly as even in their own myths its hard to tell the two apart.

given that almost all the Eldar gods still exist I doubt Slannesh ate hem all up. hell the Eldar are creating a new god of the dead in their infinity Matrix. Just because an Eldar soul can be consumned doesn't mean that the eldar gods were and its only Eldar myth passed down by the Hariquins that says this... maybe the Hariquins have a grand Plan for the eldar... Remember fluff wise they are just as likely to fight alongside Dark eldar as CraftWorld Eldar

horrorghost
18-08-2008, 23:00
It's late and I'm really tired (I'm more or less writing this by rolling my head over the keyboard) but I've just had a probably stupid idea I wanted to share anyway ;)

What if the Eldar gods and the Chaos gods are different aspects of the same force? And after the birth of Slaanesh, the Eldar (walking the Path and all) stopped feeding their emotions to the Eldar side of things, the lack of which led the gods to tip and tumble over into the darkness. A little like Two-face in the Dark Knight..

This could mean that the face of Khaine has been swallowed by Khorne, Asuryan perhaps by Nurgle (creation turns to entrophy - and didn't he make Isha his wife?), Tzeench and Cergorrah, well, both are schemers and the Cergorrah face is still being fed by the Harlequins, and..

Slaanesh doesn't have a counterpart yet but this might be the Eldar god of death they're working on. Think about it. Slaanesh=pleasure, Eldar death god=suffering.

Does this make any sense? :confused:

Helsing
19-08-2008, 20:08
The Black Library is a reality, a place that lies within the sentient consciousness of all living things. It is their that the emotions that form Chaos, fear, pride, hate and vengeance, are recorded. Its guardians are the Solitaires, its few guests the agents of the Eldar, the Inquisition and the Illuminati. The Harlequins are Eldar of this Craftworld.