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elfgifu
15-07-2010, 12:28
i know they get stuck on their path and all that but do you think they could ever get off it?

maybe have an exarch rehab retreat on a nice sandy beach where they go cold turkey from all the killing?

and what does an exarch of poetry or servitude end up like? they must be out there too

Memnos
15-07-2010, 12:40
An Exarch is a spiritual leader in the Eastern Orthodox church, a bishop just below a Patriarch.

Try not to think of Exarchs as people made mentally sick. They are spiritual leaders and guides who believe in their way above all else. You couldn't have a spiritual retreat for them any more than you could have a spiritual retreat for a fanatic of any religion.

In fact, while you could take them away from the killing, chances are they could very politely and eruditely explain why their Way is the superior one. They would be like said Bishop in that they've spent every waking moment studying their beliefs and how they interact with the world. It would be difficult to shake that spiritual certainty.

Arnizipal
15-07-2010, 13:12
Let's keep this thread firmly based in 40K please...
If you want to discuss the merit of real world religion I suggest you Guild up (http://www.warseer.com/forums/faq.php?faq=the_guild#faq_subscribing) and join the discussion at Warseer's P&R forum (http://www.warseer.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42).

Arnizipal,

++ The Warseer Moderation Team ++

Harwammer
15-07-2010, 13:26
I love the idea of Exarch anonymous.

*steps forward*

My name is Harwammer. I haven't made war for 3 days.

*applause*

AndrewGPaul
15-07-2010, 13:35
Well done Memnos, that was a heck of a derail. :)

As to the OP, it's pretty clear in the setting that Exarchs are permanently lost on the Warrior path - there was a bit of flavour text once, about a new Exarch speaking to his lover - she was trying to persuade him to leave the Warrior Path, and he simply couldn't connect to her on a personal level - all he could say was that she was a good warrior (as a Banshee Aspect warrior) and that he'd miss being in battle alonside her, as she'd moved on to a new Path, IIRC. Their personality is slowly subsumed into the gestalt of the personalities in the Exarch's armour, and they leave the wider Eldar society, retreating into their Aspect Shrine.

This isn't unique to Warriors; Farseers are effectively the equivalent on the Seer Path. As they progress deeper into the realm of the seers, their body slowly crystallises. As I understand it, all paths can trap an Eldar. I'm not sure if it's due to having a weak mind - unable to process all the knowledge and experiences and absorb them into one's greater personality - or having too strong a mind - becoming obsessed with the current path to the exclusion of all else.

The Eldar society at large both respects these individuals - Eldrad Ulthran is a hero of Ulthwé, after all - and pities them, for they've fallen from the sacred progression of self-improvement and growth, and in a way have succumbed to the sort of mindset that brought about the Fall.

I would expect that some Eldar almost fall, and can be rescued, perhaps in ways similar to the OP, but Exarchs are the Eldar equivalent of the irredeemable addicts who go in and out of rehab and end up dying in a cold gutter.

Iuris
15-07-2010, 13:56
Primarily, I would stress that while extreme, an exarch is still ON the path. By all criteria, he's following the guidelines and the path serves its purpose. Accordingly, while a scary thought to other eldar, they likely wouldn't consider it to warrant intervention.

Second, in my understanding, an eldar's mind automatically tends to extreme. So paths are followed to direct that extreme fascination. An eldar should be a fanatic NORMALLY, on any path, for the duration of his stay on that path.

I expect that the definition of an exarch is therefore one that no longer can return from his one path, IE, you only count as dedicated and only gets considered an exarch when there's no longer a way to go back.

reds8n
15-07-2010, 13:57
In fact, while you could take them away from the killing, chances are they could very politely and eruditely explain why their Way is the superior one. .

Hmm, not really. From the recent ( and really good, buy it now ! [/plug] ) "Path of the Warrior" becoming stuck on the path of the Exarch is much closer to an addiction or even perhaps a mental illness than a chosen "faith". One of the key ideas of the Eldar path is to try and prevent people from getting...hmm..."stuck in their groove" ..and enabling them to move on and past this stage of their life.

That said.. it's a setting not a documentary, if you wanted that to be part of your fluff then go for it.:)

Memnos
15-07-2010, 14:04
Hmm, not really. From the recent ( and really good, buy it now ! [/plug] ) "Path of the Warrior" becoming stuck on the path of the Exarch is much closer to an addiction or even perhaps a mental illness than a chosen "faith". One of the key ideas of the Eldar path is to try and prevent people from getting...hmm..."stuck in their groove" ..and enabling them to move on and past this stage of their life.

That said.. it's a setting not a documentary, if you wanted that to be part of your fluff then go for it.:)

That may well be part of a novel, but there are certain things to remember about Exarchs:

1) They teach other people on the path. This makes them leaders of sorts.

2) Other Eldar not stuck on the path listen to them. If it were merely an addiction and mental illness, well... I just can't imagine someone saying 'Quick, Mr. President! Godzilla is attacking the white house.' 'Get me some crack addicted schizophrenic!'

Exarchs represent an important part of their heritage. While tragic, it's not something that you can step back - Or indeed should step back from. The Eldar need them.

Sai-Lauren
15-07-2010, 14:08
Primarily, I would stress that while extreme, an exarch is still ON the path. By all criteria, he's following the guidelines and the path serves its purpose. Accordingly, while a scary thought to other eldar, they likely wouldn't consider it to warrant intervention.

On the path yes, but either stuck in a cul-de-sac, or on the inside lane of a roundabout unable to get out to one of the exits. :)

reds8n
15-07-2010, 14:11
Hmm..

1. Not quite, they guide them along a path that calls to them... each warrior finds their own way to a shrine-- they don't just say "Hey ! I fancy being a Dark Reaper today ! " -- train them so they don't die in combat and, perhaps most importantly, watch them for the signs of them becoming "addicted".

2. Only when it comes to war. Aside from that the Exarchs stay in their shrines hidden or , to an extent, locked away ( perhaps by the Craftwrold itself, perhaps by the gestalt entity of the populations mind/soul) from the others. They're pretty much viewed as dead.

Iuris
15-07-2010, 14:29
On the path yes, but either stuck in a cul-de-sac, or on the inside lane of a roundabout unable to get out to one of the exits.

But also very unlikely to be derailed off the tracks, so the insurance company is likely quite pleased with the railroad management :)

Lupe
15-07-2010, 17:59
In the broadest sense, I would imagine every Eldar who is stuck on a certain path (Exarchs, Pathfinders, etc) could switch to a different path, if the circumstances arose.

I imagine Eldar as very complicated beings, with an individual's tastes varying broadly. So, just because they've found a path they feel comfortable with, and that they experience to its full intensity, their tendency towards extremes stops them from looking for another, alternate path.

However, if they were to stumble on to another path, they might well become addicted to that and renounce their previous choice.

Imagine, for instance, an Eldar locked on the path of the seer. If stranded on a feral world, with no foreseeable hope of rescue, one might well begin to discover the path of the forager (yeah, I'm probably making that one up), and grow addicted to that.

Green-is-best
15-07-2010, 18:12
That may well be part of a novel, but there are certain things to remember about Exarchs:

1) They teach other people on the path. This makes them leaders of sorts.

2) Other Eldar not stuck on the path listen to them. If it were merely an addiction and mental illness, well... I just can't imagine someone saying 'Quick, Mr. President! Godzilla is attacking the white house.' 'Get me some crack addicted schizophrenic!'

Exarchs represent an important part of their heritage. While tragic, it's not something that you can step back - Or indeed should step back from. The Eldar need them.

Actually, as I recall Eldar society views Exarchs as useful abominations. They represent the failure of the Path and remind the Eldar of the darker aspects of their nature. The only reason they are tolerated is because they are necessary for the training and leading of aspect warriors and thus the survival of the Craftworld. But the key word there is tolerated.

Sunfang
15-07-2010, 21:58
As to the OP, it's pretty clear in the setting that Exarchs are permanently lost on the Warrior path - there was a bit of flavour text once, about a new Exarch speaking to his lover - she was trying to persuade him to leave the Warrior Path, and he simply couldn't connect to her on a personal level - all he could say was that she was a good warrior (as a Banshee Aspect warrior) and that he'd miss being in battle alonside her, as she'd moved on to a new Path, IIRC. Their personality is slowly subsumed into the gestalt of the personalities in the Exarch's armour, and they leave the wider Eldar society, retreating into their Aspect Shrine.

This isn't unique to Warriors; Farseers are effectively the equivalent on the Seer Path. As they progress deeper into the realm of the seers, their body slowly crystallises. As I understand it, all paths can trap an Eldar. I'm not sure if it's due to having a weak mind - unable to process all the knowledge and experiences and absorb them into one's greater personality - or having too strong a mind - becoming obsessed with the current path to the exclusion of all else.

The Eldar society at large both respects these individuals - Eldrad Ulthran is a hero of Ulthwé, after all - and pities them, for they've fallen from the sacred progression of self-improvement and growth, and in a way have succumbed to the sort of mindset that brought about the Fall.

I would expect that some Eldar almost fall, and can be rescued, perhaps in ways similar to the OP, but Exarchs are the Eldar equivalent of the irredeemable addicts who go in and out of rehab and end up dying in a cold gutter.

This is about the perfect respons. Also we should note as described in the recent novel "Path of the Warrior" that Exarchs generally stay in their shrine although they are able to move around the craftworld with only certain places as off limites. For instance an exarch does not have access to the infinity circuit, they are unable to attend funerals, and other locations. Alot of why they seem to spend so much time in the shrine as they are deemed unsafe to other Eldar of their own volition and simply recognised by other Eldar.

They really are stuck. Over time the current host of the suites personality is absorbed into the greater whole of its former personalities.

I did notice on some occasions in the book that the exarchs where not in their suites all the time, at this point do they retain their own personality and only consumed by the other personalities while in the suit?

On a final note it appears to be very apparent to everyone in the proximity of an eldar who has become hooked on the path but not quite dawned the exarxh suit.

N0-1_H3r3
15-07-2010, 22:23
I imagine Eldar as very complicated beings, with an individual's tastes varying broadly. So, just because they've found a path they feel comfortable with, and that they experience to its full intensity, their tendency towards extremes stops them from looking for another, alternate path.

However, if they were to stumble on to another path, they might well become addicted to that and renounce their previous choice.
You don't stumble onto a Path. It's a conscious choice to move to one.

Each Path, whatever the physical activities associated with that Path, is concerned with the control and useful application of emotion, and gaining discipline over one's own psychology. An Aspect Warrior is what he or she is because they have chosen to master and channel their rage and hate and fury, to control it so that it cannot overwhelm them. Artists learn to express other emotions in various external forms. Seers learn to control the interactions between their minds and the Immaterium.

The Path is a system of focussed, controlled learning and introspective meditation. At a time of their own choosing, an Eldar voluntarily leaves a Path and seeks a new one, studying under different masters and learning the mindsets and skills inherent to the Path they have chosen.

An Aspect Warrior learns to don a metaphorical war-mask, a psychological state that allows them to unleash their anger and violent inclinations in the heat of battle without risking those emotions from bleeding into the rest of their lives. At the end of battle, an Aspect Warrior removes that mask, sealing away and containing their rage until it is needed again. Those lost on the Warrior Path can't do that - the mask is permanent and can never be removed.


Imagine, for instance, an Eldar locked on the path of the seer. If stranded on a feral world, with no foreseeable hope of rescue, one might well begin to discover the path of the forager (yeah, I'm probably making that one up), and grow addicted to that.
An Eldar locked on the Seer Path is a Farseer. Once a Farseer, always a Farseer, as it is with Exarchs and other Path-trapped. Whatever they do, for the rest of their extremely long lives, will be coloured by the Path they have become trapped upon. Consider that Farseers have been seen in battle, fighting alongside their kin... they don't become tempted to become Aspect Warriors (likely, they already were Aspect Warriors, having then become Warlocks before becoming trapped as Farseers - a Farseer without that sort of warrior background is unlikely to take to the field of battle, IMO), but rather they fight using their talent for divination to elude and overcome their foes.

Askil the Undecided
16-07-2010, 10:03
Essentially the path system is the method the Eldar (who are highly talented super-geniuses) use to filter their experences and thus refine themselves into civilsed beings rather than twisted maniac evil scientist super-geniuses (the DE) or pleasure seeking animals. (DE/Slaanesh worshippers)

They do this by developing exclusive fixations which they call "paths" and dedicating much of their time to mastering the pursuit they have fixated on.

Thus: Jimiath the Eldar becomes Jimiath the Sculpter and is a highly dedicated artist, but after he leaves his studio he's still Jimiath the Eldar. He leaves the persona Jimiath the Sculpter in his studio and returns to his wife and child each evening.

However sometimes an Eldar's fixation sinks too deep into their psyche and they can no longer cast off their role they strive for greater and greater perfection of their craft their obsession consumes them utterly and everything outside of it is lost.

Thus: One day Jimiath the Sculpter finds that he can't think of any reason to leave his studio, and that his work needs to be better, much better if only he could master the technique of feathering the hair accurately. His wife and child beg him to return home but he cannot understand why this oddly-familiar family keep coming back without the father, he couldn't make a sculpture of them without the father, without the father the sculpted composition just wouldn't look balanced at all. He drops the name Jimiath because saying it takes his mind off scuplting for too long he becomes known only as "the Sculpter."

It's kind of like the ultimate expression of "taking your work home with you."